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Hawaii visitor arrivals climb to highest since start of coronavirus quarantine

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More out-of-state passengers came to Hawaii on Monday than any day since the start of March tourism lockdowns.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority reported today that 246 visitors came to Hawaii on Monday, which was the largest visitor count since March 26 when 268 visitors came to Hawaii on the first day of a mandatory 14-day self quarantine order for incoming travelers.

Altogether, 845 trans-Pacific passengers arrived Monday, including 310 residents. On the 16 flights that came, there also were 143 airline crew members, 59 transit passengers who are catching other flights and 84 intended new residents for Oahu and three for Maui.

Some 220 visitors traveled to Oahu, while 25 went to Maui and one to Kona.

The state defines visitors as everyone with an out-of-state ID who plans to leave Hawaii after a period of time. Intended residents are those with out-of-state IDs who say they plan to stay here. The intended residents category might include military personnel, college students, people moving to Hawaii to live with their families, and homeless individuals.

Visitor arrivals have waxed and waned since the quarantine started; however, they’ve been on the rise since Saturday. Tourism officials have indicated that they don’t believe tourism can return to Hawaii in any quantitative way until the lockdown is lifted. Still, the timing of the small rise comes right after May 1, which was the day that many states began reopening.

With Monday’s results, 5,523 visitors have come to Hawaii since the quarantine started. The 39-day average is now 141 visitors per day.

At this time last year, most of the 30,000 or so passengers arriving in Hawaii daily were visitors. Some 856,250 visitors came to Hawaii in April 2019.

Still, even the small rises are a top focus for lawmakers, such as the Senate Special COVID-19 Committee, which is concerned that too many visitors are coming despite the quarantine and that too many are breaking rules. In anticipation that tourism will reopen with a quarantine, they are pushing to close loopholes and scale it up for larger crowds.

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