Three of the state’s four mayors have asked President Donald Trump to stop all non-essential travel to Hawaii to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Mayors Kirk Caldwell of Honolulu, Derek Kawakami of Kauai and Mike Victorino of Maui County sent a letter today requesting that Trump bolster the various orders already in place in the islands.
Hawaii so far has reported 258 cases of the new coronavirus, and the 34 new cases today represent the most in one day. One death has been reported.
“Once this crisis is over, we want to be ready re-open our islands to visitors from all over the world,” said Caldwell in a news release today. “But putting a complete stop to all non-essential travel coming into our state is critical to preventing the spread of this virus, especially since a majority of Hawaii’s COVID-19 cases have been travel related. In addition, such visitors create a burden on all of our first responders at a time when we need them to focus on fighting the spread of COVID-19.”
Gov. David Ige issued a mandatory 14-day quarantine for all interisland travelers after a previous 14-day quarantine for all out-of-state travelers.
“When people move the virus moves, and we need help from all levels of government to minimize movement so we can get back to normal,” said Kawakami. “Now is not the time for leisurely travel. Hawaii has a unique opportunity to stop the rapid spread of this virus in our state and we are asking the President’s assistance to make that happen.”
Kawakami led more drastic measures against the coronavirus after issuing a curfew for Kauai on March 18.
“Maui County is the only county comprised of three separate islands,” Victorino said. “We need to ensure Maui, Molokai and Lanai still receive essential resources and services, but are also protected from further spread of this virus.”
Hawaiian Airlines recently unveiled a revised flight schedule in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Flights will continue between the counties, including flights to and from Molokai and Lanai.