(CNN) — Not so much with the Aloha summer. According to a press release from the Hawai’i Tourism Authority (HTA), “On July 13, Gov. David Ige announced that he is delaying the launch of the state’s pre-travel testing program until September 1, 2020.”
The delay is a result of the recent surge in coronavirus cases in the continental US, “Our state officials have decided to postpone the reopening in order to protect the health and safety of our residents and visitors,” according to the HTA.
Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, Hawaii has been serious about keeping the virus out. Gov. David Ige established the 14-day mandatory quarantine for visitors and returning residents on March 26.
Hawaii’s tourism business has basically zeroed out, so this announcement is certainly a disappointment to businesses who’d hoped to start recouping some of the losses incurred by shutting down for nearly four months.
In May, the state began exploring the feasibility of “travel bubbles,” which would similarly allow travelers from countries with low infection rates (like Japan and Australia) to bypass quarantine if they meet certain criteria.
It’s uncertain whether this development will restart this “travel bubble” approach, and Ige offered no specifics regarding travel bubbles in his July 13 announcement.
The world’s tallest sea cliffs are in Molokai, Hawaii
“This was an extremely difficult decision to make. This delay will further hurt our economy, but as I’ve always said — we will make decisions based on the best available science and facts prioritizing the health and safety of Hawai’i residents. Our county mayors and I agree, this delay is essential to protect our community,” said Gov. Ige.