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When will Hawaii re-open for tourism?

When will Hawaii re-open for tourism?

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Old May 13, 20, 8:45 pm
  #121  
 
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Isn't Hawaii basically on a path to be closed to visitors forever? Because if their goal is to have no new cases on the islands, and they are going to force a 14-day quarantine to maintain that, they will essentially never be able to allow anyone in. Insanity.
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Old May 13, 20, 11:20 pm
  #122  
 
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Originally Posted by DJ_Iceman View Post
Isn't Hawaii basically on a path to be closed to visitors forever? Because if their goal is to have no new cases on the islands, and they are going to force a 14-day quarantine to maintain that, they will essentially never be able to allow anyone in. Insanity.
It's easy... someone just needs to invent 14-day anestesia (probably easier than a Corona vaccine). Travelers just get knocked out and slipped in a drawer somewhere for 14-days and then they are free to enjoy their Hawaiian holiday. I guess it would be kind of a hassle having to take 21 days off work for a week vacation but at least it's something
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Old May 13, 20, 11:32 pm
  #123  
 
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Originally Posted by DJ_Iceman View Post
Isn't Hawaii basically on a path to be closed to visitors forever? Because if their goal is to have no new cases on the islands, and they are going to force a 14-day quarantine to maintain that, they will essentially never be able to allow anyone in. Insanity.
The stated goal has been to have a negative-slope curve over a 14-day period, after which have a reopening. On Friday, shopping centers will open their doors. Hopefully, people will be adjusting to the new normal, wear their masks and keep distance from each other. Once experience proves that we won't have infection rates that shoot through the roof, we will reopen to tourism, albeit with further adjustments.

I'm not a population geographer, but if one subtracted all the mountainous, farmland, industrial and other uninhabitable regions of Oahu, one would find a highly densely-populated city with a high rate of extended-family cohabitation. Oahu's population just under 1M, and we had 6.2M visitors in 2019 (an average of 120K per day in January 2020). We have a very high percentage of our population in high risk groups. In other words, just the right petri-dish for a pandemic to fester.

It would be insane to ignore this demography and biology. Although I don't think the State is acting without mistakes, it sure is a delicate balancing act.

So please do come back and visit when we reopen.
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Last edited by 747FC; May 13, 20 at 11:39 pm
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Old May 13, 20, 11:32 pm
  #124  
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Originally Posted by DJ_Iceman View Post
Isn't Hawaii basically on a path to be closed to visitors forever? Because if their goal is to have no new cases on the islands, and they are going to force a 14-day quarantine to maintain that, they will essentially never be able to allow anyone in. Insanity.
I would assume once a quick, accurate, and on the spot testing is available, the fourteen day quarantine can be adjusted.

The perfect world is to test every single arriving passenger, and quarantine the positives and allow the negatives to go on with their lives. Without testing every single passenger, everyone is assumed to be a positive carrier of COVID, and the 14 day quarantine still stands.
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Old May 14, 20, 1:19 am
  #125  
 
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Originally Posted by wchinchen View Post
I would assume once a quick, accurate, and on the spot testing is available, the fourteen day quarantine can be adjusted.

The perfect world is to test every single arriving passenger, and quarantine the positives and allow the negatives to go on with their lives. Without testing every single passenger, everyone is assumed to be a positive carrier of COVID, and the 14 day quarantine still stands.
This is the logical/obvious answer BUT.... how/when is it going to happen?? It's frustrating that this (obvious) solution has not been talked about more up to this point. I can only hope there is a lot going on behind the scenes that we civilians aren't privy to.
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Old May 14, 20, 1:42 am
  #126  
 
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Originally Posted by mtofell View Post
This is the logical/obvious answer BUT.... how/when is it going to happen?? It's frustrating that this (obvious) solution has not been talked about more up to this point. I can only hope there is a lot going on behind the scenes that we civilians aren't privy to.
Requiring proof of a negative test in the last 48 hours to bypass the quarantine on arrival would be a reasonable option. On arrival instant testing sounds good too, but what do you do with people who test positive?

Vienna is doing both of these approaches now: https://www.viennaairport.com/pcrtest. Ours will be the Travel with Aloha program and details should be out this week.
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Last edited by HawaiiSailor; May 14, 20 at 3:02 am
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Old May 14, 20, 8:51 am
  #127  
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I see the following problems with the idea of hotels issuing one time only keycards:

Surely food and other items (clean towels and sheets anyone? coffee and minibar supplies? soap and shampoo from the hotel?) will be delivered to rooms, presumably in contactless fashion with the items being left on the floor (or for small items in a plastic bag tied to the doorknob like Hyatt does). Yet when one tries to open the door and bring the stuff into the room, there's a good chance that the door will close behind one, leaving the person in the hall. [This has happened to me often and room service trays can be the worst things to bring into the room without ending up in the hall on the other side of a locked door. I've trained myself to put keycard in pocket (or in hand, but this makes it harder to juggle that tray with stuff that can spill) before I ever open the door. ] At this point, presumably the person has no option but to walk to the front desk (or find a house phone) to get a replacement key card, resulting in needless contact with hotel staff and other guests.

OTOH if the answer is that other family members on the other side of the door, in the room, open the door for the person trapped outside in the hall, then by the same argument most family members can go out and about at will (depending on how the resort is arranged) providing that there is always one person left behind to open the door when family members return. There's no effective deterrent for quarantine violations if the room contains more than one adult.
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Old May 14, 20, 11:11 am
  #128  
 
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An island nation, Iceland, is proposing to offer tests on arrival, and is also proposing to permit arriving passengers to show negative test results from shortly before their departure, in order to avoid quarantine. Will see if it actually happens, but I wonder if Hawaii will propose something similar.
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Old May 14, 20, 11:28 am
  #129  
 
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Originally Posted by ExpatExp View Post
An island nation, Iceland, is proposing to offer tests on arrival, and is also proposing to permit arriving passengers to show negative test results from shortly before their departure, in order to avoid quarantine. Will see if it actually happens, but I wonder if Hawaii will propose something similar.
Yes the Vienna and Iceland models would work well for Hawaii, and would just require the existing airport inspectors to try to validate a test result document and match the name to the person. If you have one, no 14 day quarantine. If you don't, 14-day quarantine still applies. Pretty simple, we could turn that on tomorrow without any extra machines, people, or expense at the airport. It's not bulletproof by any measure, but would reduce the risk significantly. If that still lets in too much virus, an additional on-arrival test could be added as well, even if its not instant-result.
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Old May 14, 20, 12:40 pm
  #130  
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Originally Posted by HawaiiSailor View Post
Requiring proof of a negative test in the last 48 hours to bypass the quarantine on arrival would be a reasonable option. On arrival instant testing sounds good too, but what do you do with people who test positive?

Vienna is doing both of these approaches now: https://www.viennaairport.com/pcrtest. Ours will be the Travel with Aloha program and details should be out this week.
The final protocol needs to be scalable to accommodate maximum tourists loads, such as pre COVID 30,000 tourists per day. This is assuming COVID will be a permanent border security threat, be it domestic or international. My personal feeling is that the international community will require a clean bill of health prior to departure and/or at the time of arrival, and would be validated similar to a valid passport. Initial documents will be rudimentary, and as the risk of forged documents come into play. I am sure countries will have higher tech system directly linking to lab results that creates an efficient verification system. My question is, what do you do with rest of the passengers that are negative who took the same flight as a positive passenger? Do you quarantine everyone on the flight? I highly doubt this will happen.

Positive tests: options are to either stay locally with mandatory 14 day quarantine with contact tracing, or take the next available flight home with temporary quarantine prior to the flight. Because of this, traveling will become more expensive due to trip cancellation or changes. The onus of maintaining a clean bill of health for traveling will be on the traveler him or herself, instead of the government due to the financial ramifications of a positive test. Meaning, people will want to make sure they have a clean bill of health prior to traveling (ie, testing at the location of departure). The accepting location of such traveler will need to decide if they can rely on the prior test results versus the risk of new spread to their own community.
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Old May 14, 20, 12:59 pm
  #131  
 
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Originally Posted by wchinchen View Post
Positive tests: options are to either stay locally with mandatory 14 day quarantine with contact tracing, or take the next available flight home with temporary quarantine prior to the flight. Because of this, traveling will become more expensive due to trip cancellation or changes.
I don't think an airline would accept a passenger who has just tested positive for COVID. Nor would a hotel, unless it was one especially dedicated for COVID positive quarantine and run by public health people. This was done in China with positive cases. I doubt we'd want to convert the Diamond Head wing at HNL into a field hospital / quarantine center. The "instant testing" as part of the arrival flow raises these issues of what you do with the positive person in front of you, and what do you do with the other people who just got off the flight behind in line for testing or lingering in baggage claim. If you just 14-day quarantine or not based on the existence of a pre-departure test result paper, you then don't have to deal with these issues on the fly at the airport. And you could add the option Vienna also has of post-arrival testing once you're at your quarantine location and early release if you test negative. This does put more onus on the hotels to be enforcers though, which they're likely not super comfortable with.
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Old May 14, 20, 1:33 pm
  #132  
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Originally Posted by 747FC View Post
The stated goal has been to have a negative-slope curve over a 14-day period, after which have a reopening. On Friday, shopping centers will open their doors. Hopefully, people will be adjusting to the new normal, wear their masks and keep distance from each other. Once experience proves that we won't have infection rates that shoot through the roof, we will reopen to tourism, albeit with further adjustments.

I'm not a population geographer, but if one subtracted all the mountainous, farmland, industrial and other uninhabitable regions of Oahu, one would find a highly densely-populated city with a high rate of extended-family cohabitation. Oahu's population just under 1M, and we had 6.2M visitors in 2019 (an average of 120K per day in January 2020). We have a very high percentage of our population in high risk groups. In other words, just the right petri-dish for a pandemic to fester.

It would be insane to ignore this demography and biology. Although I don't think the State is acting without mistakes, it sure is a delicate balancing act.

So please do come back and visit when we reopen.
That's a very thoughtful way of looking at this very challenging situation. In that same spirit, I suggest that the reopening to tourists should have intermediate steps, and be island-specific. For example, there could be a time when tourists are allowed only in their rooms/condos, and on beaches and spacious natural settings. Some beaches, like Waikiki, might remain closed or very closely monitored to enforce social-distancing. No bars or restaurants or crowded attractions for tourists during this time. Take-out and delivery only for prepared food, and delivery-only for groceries (restaurants and grocery/convenience stores must demand ID showing local address for service). I think a lot of tourists would return during such a time. It would still be most of the Hawaii experience they seek.
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Old May 14, 20, 2:38 pm
  #133  
 
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Originally Posted by dhuey View Post
For example, there could be a time when tourists are allowed only in their rooms/condos, and on beaches and spacious natural settings. Some beaches, like Waikiki, might remain closed or very closely monitored to enforce social-distancing. No bars or restaurants or crowded attractions for tourists during this time.
I don't think it would be possible/legal/realistic for individual businesses to attempt to police who is vs. isn't allowed to use their establishments and in which specific ways without moving too far towards a "papers, please" society.
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Old May 14, 20, 4:15 pm
  #134  
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Originally Posted by HawaiiSailor View Post
I don't think it would be possible/legal/realistic for individual businesses to attempt to police who is vs. isn't allowed to use their establishments and in which specific ways without moving too far towards a "papers, please" society.
Is it really that hard to ask for ID at the point of service in a restaurant, bar, grocery/convenience store? If local, here you go. If not, sorry.
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Old May 14, 20, 4:23 pm
  #135  
 
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Originally Posted by dhuey View Post
Is it really that hard to ask for ID at the point of service in a restaurant, bar, grocery/convenience store? If local, here you go. If not, sorry.
Bus drivers on Oahu have already been assaulted while trying to enforce a simple mask rule. Monitoring people under quarantine various ways is fine. Making the rest of us prove to each other that we are not would Introduce a host of issues.
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