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Visitors to Hawaii surpass 700 for fourth time in July

The number of visitors who flew to Hawaii on Tuesday surpassed 700 for the fourth time this week despite Hawaii’s mandatory, 14-day quarantine for those arriving from out of state.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority reported that 721 out of 2,685 people that arrived by air to the state were visitors. Another 815 were returning residents, while 157 were planning to relocate to Hawaii.

A total of 262 were flight crew members, and 203 in transit.

Among those exempted from the quarantine were 347 military personnel, and 180 others who received prior approval from the state.

As usual, the majority, 572, traveled to Oahu, while 62 went to Maui, 51 to Kona, and 36 to Lihue. Roughly half of Oahu visitors, 289, said they were here to visit friends and family, while 20 said they were on vacation.

The number on Tuesday is 105 more than Monday, when 616 visitors flew in. The average, so far, for the first week of July is at about 726 visitors.

The biggest spike in visitors this month was on the Thursday leading up to the Fourth of July, with 937 visitors arriving from out of state.

Still, the highest numbers recently represent a minuscule percentage of the 35,000 passengers that used to arrive in Hawaii daily, including both residents and visitors, during the same time last year, according to HTA.

Visitor arrivals have plunged since Gov. David Ige on March 26 ordered all travelers to Hawaii — and in April, all interisland travelers — to undergo a mandatory, two-week quarantine to help stop the spread of the new coronavirus. The interisland quarantine was lifted on June 16.

Starting Aug. 1, Gov. David Ige plans to revive tourism by allowing out-of-state travelers the option of bypassing the quarantine with an approved, negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to their departure for Hawaii.

Although further details of the testing protocol have yet to be released, the governor on Tuesday said he was planning to move forward with that plan.

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