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Editorial | Off the News

Off the News: An app for safer travels

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Filling out the online-based Safe Travels application (, which helps with COVID-19 public-safety screening, is now a requirement for travelers arriving in Hawaii. The health and travel information it collects can be used by officials, including police, to check on quarantine status, and eases the state’s ability to reach out to address medical issues.

The app is expected to simplify some data collection that has been paper-based. Among its welcome time-saving features: verification of traveler phone numbers and email addresses prior to arrival. Saving even a few minutes per traveler can add up quickly on flights carrying triple-digit counts of passengers — or many more, as hoped once COVID cases are under control.

Furniture stores put on hold

Oahu residents directed to work from home will need to make do with the furniture they already have, at least for now. Mayor Kirk Caldwell is making it clear to furniture stores that they are not an “essential” business and thus must close during the current shutdown.

When you think about it, this does make some sense: Furniture is invariably large, so delivery poses a greater risk of COVID-19 spread than, say, picking up a burger from the drive-thru window. But people do need to think about it.

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