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Majority of visitors arriving Saturday say purpose of Hawaii trip to visit friends, family

  • BRUCE ASATO / APRIL 30
                                A traveler returns home and gathers her baggage at carousel 6 at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport on April 30. The woman, who would not give her real name, said she got her temperature taken by National Guard personnel after getting off her aircraft, which she estimated had about 40 travelers on board.

    BRUCE ASATO / APRIL 30

    A traveler returns home and gathers her baggage at carousel 6 at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport on April 30. The woman, who would not give her real name, said she got her temperature taken by National Guard personnel after getting off her aircraft, which she estimated had about 40 travelers on board.

A majority of the 217 visitors arriving on Oahu on Saturday reported coming to the islands to visit family and friends, despite the state self-quarantine order banning arriving travelers from having visitors.

The 104 visitors who said they were arriving to visit friends and family stated the purpose of their trip on the the back of the Hawaii Agricultural Declaration Form, which is not mandated by law to be filled out, the Hawaii Tourism Authority said.

Two visitors reported the purpose of their trip was to get married, eight reported coming only for vacation, and 21 said they had other business. Forty-six did not answer.

The HTA said the 857 passengers who arrived Saturday in Hawaii on 14 flights, included 334 residents, 255 visitors, 127 crew members, 79 intended residents, and 62 passengers transiting to other locations.

Each day for the past week, visitor arrivals have surpassed 200 after dropping below 100 on one day in second half of April.

Gov. David Ige issued an order requiring arriving passengers to self-quarantine for 2 weeks beginning March 26 to suppress tourism and slow the spread of the coronavirus. His order requires visitors to stay in their hotel rooms or rented lodging during their quarantine, to only leave their quarantine location for medical emergencies or to seek medical care, and to not allow visitors.

At this time last year, Hawaii was receiving nearly 30,000 passengers a day with most of them visitors. In April 2019, 856,250 visitors came to Hawaii.

The most visitors to arrive was on the first day of the quarantine when 268 flew to the islands.

On Saturday, the majority of arriving travelers — 773 — flew to Oahu. Kauai had 21 passengers, and Kona had 63 arrivals.

Of the 217 visitors who arrived on Oahu, 115 said on the agricultural declaration form that they were staying with family and friends. Fifty-four selected other accommodations as their place of stay, which included the choices of “hostel,” “hotel,” “condo,” “other,” “private room,” “shared room, other” and “rental house.”

Forty-eight did not answer the question.

Since March 26 through Saturday, more than 6,500 visitors have arrived in Hawaii, according to HTA data.

During that time, about 10,200 residents arrived in the islands. The Department of Health has said of the 631 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Hawaii as of Saturday, 90% involved residents.

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