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Hawaii Is Just Not Up for Visitors Right Now

Governor stops short of banning travel, but says 'it's not a good time'
By Liz MacGahan,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 24, 2021 1:57 PM CDT
Hawaii to Tourists: Now Is Just Not a Good Time
File photo of Hawaii Gov. David Ige. As Hawaii struggles to control COVID-19 as the highly contagious delta variant spreads, Ige is asking people not to visit the islands and he wants visitors and residents to limit travel to essential purposes.   (AP Photo/Marco Garcia, File)

(Newser) – Summer is winding down. The weather is cooling. Students are getting ready to go back to school. Doesn’t it sound like a great time to squeeze in a little vacation, maybe a trip to Hawaii? Guess again. "It’s not a good time to travel to the islands," Gov. David Ige of Hawaii says. Hawaii would very much prefer to limit visits to essential business travel, since travel is what is bringing COVID to the islands, USA Today reports.

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In a statewide statement of "it’s not you; it’s me,” Ige said that tourists just wouldn’t have as much fun. Restaurants are limiting seating, rental cars are hard to find, and big gatherings will be restricted starting Wednesday. Ige stopped short of banning travel. Vaccinated visitors don’t even need to take COVID tests or quarantine, per Safe Travels Hawai’i.

Hawaii just wants tourists to stay away for a little while—through October would be nice. Elizabeth Char of the state’s health department said in a statement that if COVID infections don’t recede, the health system could be overwhelmed and residents and visitors “may find it difficult to get the treatment they need right away,” per the Hill. (Earlier this month, two visitors from California were arrested for allegedly faking vaccination cards.)

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