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Visitor arrivals near 4,000 since quarantine order in place

Nearly 4,000 visitors arrived in Hawaii in the month since the state’s 14-day mandatory quarantine for arriving passengers took effect a month ago today.

As of Saturday, 3,897 trans-Pacific visitors arrived in Hawaii since the quarantine order took effect March 26. That’s an average of 125 visitors arriving in the islands over the past 31 days.

The state implemented the nation’s first self-quarantine order for arriving passengers to suppress tourism and reduce the spread of the coronavirus in the islands. The mandatory quarantine order was supposed to end Thursday, but Gov. David Ige extended it Saturday to the end of May.

About 37% of Saturday’s 542 passenger arrivals were returning residents, followed by visitors making up about 25% of the total. The remaining passengers were 99 crew members, 57 people transiting to other destinations, and 51 intended residents, who are military members and their families and other people moving to Hawaii.

Of Saturday’s 135 arriving visitors, the majority of them flew to Oahu. Only seven went to neighbor islands, specifically four to Hawaii island and three to Kauai.

The state recently implemented new measures at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport to better verify incoming visitors’ information before they leave the airport. The measures include confirming visitors provide a working cell phone number and verifying their lodging information. The measures will be expanded to other airports over the coming days.

Tim Sakahara, spokesman for the Department of Transportation, said the process is slower, but more effect and serves as a deterrent for people considering visiting Hawaii.

“People must understand that this is not the time to be vacationing in Hawaii,” he said at a news conference Saturday.

At this time last year, about 30,000 passengers were arriving in Hawaii daily. In April 2019, 856,250 visitors arrived in the islands.

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