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Hawaii visitor arrivals top 400 again on Sunday

The number of visitors flying to Hawaii from out-of-state over the weekend once again topped 400 after a temporary, one-day dip on Friday.

A total of 488 visitors were among the 1,847 passengers that arrived to the state on Sunday, according to Hawaii Tourism Authority data. The majority — 381 — flew to Oahu, while 67 flew to Kona on Hawaii island, and 109 flew to Maui.

The total also included 543 returning residents, and 98 individuals planning to relocate to Hawaii.

Another 209 were flight crew members, 208 were exempt from the mandatory, 14-day quarantine, 185 were military, and 116 were in transit.

Gov. David Ige ordered the trans-Pacific quarantine, which began March 26, to reduce the spread of the new coronavirus in Hawaii, and expanded April 1 to include interisland travelers.

Despite these restrictions, daily visitor counts have steadily increased over the months, and have topped 400 every day this month except for Friday — with a peak of 667 on June 7. On Saturday, a total of 457 visitors were among 1,948 passengers that flew to Hawaii.

Although the lockdown has led to a flattening of the number of new cases, at least a quarter of the state’s workforce is out of work in a state heavily reliant on tourism, prompting some officials to call for reopening sooner.

On Tuesday, the quarantine for interisland travelers will be lifted, allowing travelers to fly freely between islands and not observe 14 days of self-quarantine upon arrival.

However, interisland travelers must fill out a mandatory health form available at health.hawaii.gov/travel and have their temperatures checked before getting clearance to fly.

Travelers are encouraged to arrive early at the airport to clear health screenings, as well as to fill in the form before getting to the airport. It may be filled in ahead of time, but no more than 24 hours in advance. Anyone who does not provide the form or has a temperature of greater than 100.4 degrees will not be allowed to fly.

The health information is collected prior to TSA screening.

State officials urged interisland travelers to continue praticing physical distancing and other safety measures.

“We all must continue the safe practices that led to the decision to resume interisland travel,” said state epidemiologist Sarah Park in a news release. “These safe practices: physical distancing, using masks in public, washing our hands, and staying home when sick, are just as important now, as they were three months ago.”

The trans-Pacific quarantine is set to expire July 31.

The bulk of the 381 Oahu visitors arriving on Sunday — 255 — said the purpose of their travel was to visit friends and family, while 50 said they were here to vacation, and 23 said they were here on business. They were able to choose more than one answer.

During the same time period last year, nearly 30,000 passengers arrived in Hawaii daily, including both residents and visitors.

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