Just a day after Hawaii Gov. David Ige ordered all visitors to Hawaii, and returning residents, to undergo a 14-day quarantine upon landing, he yesterday also ordered the majority of the population to stay at home until April 30 to help stop the spread of coronavirus. As a result, Hawaiian Airlines plans to suspend most long-haul passenger flights to and from Hawaii starting Thursday.
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Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said the one-two punch of the two orders would help to flatten the curve of spread like it has in places such as Japan and South Korea. The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Hawaii stood at 56 on Sunday.
“We’re taking this action to buy time, to make sure when you stay at home and work at home, and quarantine for 14 days from somewhere else, whether you be visitors or residents, it will make a tremendous difference,” Caldwell said.
Maui Mayor Mike Victorino quickly followed with a similar order for Maui, Lanai, and Molokai that starts on Wednesday and also goes through April 30.
Oahu residents will be permitted to leave their homes for essentials; to shop for food, medical supplies, and other necessities for their households or to care for a family member or pet in another household. Oudoor activities such as running or hiking will also be permitted, as long as citizens comply with social-distancing recommendations.
Tourism has already dropped in the last week, total arrivals to Hawaii have fallen by 67% and international arrivals have plummeted by 75%. Hawaiian Airlines President and CEO Peter Ingram said the airline flights from the West Coast have been operating at 40% to 50% full this week, about half of the normal traffic, reports bizjournals.