Lt. Gov. Josh Green joined the COVID-19 Care Conversation to talk about the current state of COVID-19 in Hawaii and when the community will see travel quarantine restrictions lifted.
The lieutenant governor believes the interisland passenger quarantine should have been lifted already based on the fact that the state has had so few cases over recent weeks. While he agrees that it is important to be cautious, he is concerned about the lifelong consequences on the economy. “We have to open up and we should do it right now when the prevalence of disease is lowest,” he said.
When asked what the reasons are for the delay, he shared that the screening process for visitor arrivals still needs to be finalized. Green anticipates the interisland travel to reopen in early June, followed by domestic and international travel in mid-July. He mentioned that Gov. David Ige will most likely make an announcement early next week.
Green is strongly pushing for pre-arrival testing for domestic and international travelers. He has been in discussions with CVS, which has the capability to test individuals at 1,000 locations across the country. “We can direct people respectfully to go and grab a test before coming,” he said.
Green said that the goal is to reduce risk at all points, which should include asking incoming visitors to travel safely. Under this proposed process, those who have tested negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours prior to arrival would experience a shorter screening process at the airport when arriving in Hawaii. He believes this proposed process would significantly decrease the probability of another surge that could cause a secondary closure of the state.
With regard to the legislature moving CARES Act money into the state’s rainy day fund, Green believes that lawmakers are being careful and that we should expect to see expenditures made once they return to session in a few weeks.
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The COVID-19 Care Conversation is live every weekday at 10:30 a.m. Yunji de Nies and Ryan Kalei Tsuji will discuss the latest news, resources and community concerns about the coronavirus outbreak in Hawaii.
Watch here and submit your questions through our Facebook page.
The COVID-19 Care Conversation, sponsored by Hawai’i Executive Collaborative and Hawaii Pacific Health, airs live every weekday at 10:30 a.m. on the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s Facebook page. Yunji de Nies and Ryan Kalei Tsuji discuss the latest news, resources and community concerns about the coronavirus outbreak in Hawaii.