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Daily visitor arrivals into Hawaii near 600 Thursday

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                                The beaches and Waikiki sidewalks are not crowded with tourists.


    The beaches and Waikiki sidewalks are not crowded with tourists.

The daily count of visitors to Hawaii on Thursday hit nearly 600 — the highest number of daily visitor arrivals to come into the state since tourism lockdowns started in March.

Hawaii Tourism Authority reported today that 546 visitors came to Hawaii on Thursday. Visitors made up about 34% of the 1,621 passengers that arrived on 19 trans-Pacific flights.

There also were 433 residents and 153 people that were relocating to Hawaii. There were 164 airline crew members, and 130 transit passengers who did not plan to leave the airport. As many as 118 members of the military arrived in Hawaii. Some 77 of the arriving passengers had been granted exemptions to the mandatory 14-day self-quarantine that has been in effect since March 26 and is expected to run past June 30.

Most of the visitors, 455 of them, traveled to Oahu. However, 50 visitors also traveled to Maui and 41 to Kona.

Oahu visitors who filled out a mandatory state Department of Transportation travel declaration form were asked to disclose the purpose of their trip. Most of the Oahu visitors, some 381 or 84%, said they were here to visit friends and family. As many as 30 visitors or 7% said they were here on business and about 11% said they were here to vacation. The percentages don’t total 100 because respondents can choose multiple categories and 12 left the question blank.

Since April 6, the Visitor Aloha Society of Hawaii, which is running the HTA-funded COVID-19 Flight Assistance Program, has assisted 72 visitors in returning home. Visitors who do not have a place to complete the required quarantine must either produce legal accommodations, take the first available flight home, or risk arrest. Violation of emergency is a misdemeanor charge, which comes with a fine of up to $5,000 and or up to a year in jail.

“We were very busy this week. We sent five people home on Tuesday,” said VASH president and CEO Jessica Lani Rich.

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