COVID-19 effect: Hawaii is paying for visitors to leave

The Hawaii Tourism Authority has decided to pay for visitors to leave from the island. The state agency of Hawaii, which normally welcomes visitors, has come up with a $25000 fund to cover the cost of sending tourists home. This is, if visitors do not follow and abide by Hawaii’s 14-day quarantine rule.

The state authority said that Visitor Aloha Society, which a non-profit organisation, is taking care of travel arrangements of visitors. The society, in regular days, helps tourists in Hawaii in case of theft or any medical emergency.

Hawaii State Attorney General Clare Connors, explaining the current situation, said, “The ability to return people quickly to their airports of origin during the coronavirus crisis greatly assists law enforcement’s ability to ensure the success of our statewide emergency measures. The fact scarce government funds do not need to be expended for these return trips also helps fulfill the mission of keeping Hawaii safe.”

As of now, 19 tourists have been sent back to their airports of origin, and there also have been cases wherein violators have been forced to pay a fine too. On the other hand, the Visitor Aloha Society has paid for the tickets of the visitors who can’t afford it.

On April 1, Governor of Hawaii, David Ige has made a mandatory 2-week self-quarantine rule for every outside visitors and inter-island travellers. Then, on April 6, a letter was sent to different publications asking them not to promote Hawaii tourism in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak.

As per authorities, they are discouraging tourism to lower the number of tourists to the state. Given the isolated nature of the islands, it would become difficult for the healthcare system to manage such cases.

There have been 596 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 12 deaths in Hawaii till now.