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Hawaii relaxes restrictions for travelers to the county of Kauai

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Negative virus test required for Hawaii travelers

Anyone flying to Hawaii will be required to have a negative COVID-19 test result prior to their departure for the state, with the new rule going into effect two days before Thanksgiving, state officials announced Thursday. (Nov, 19)

AP

The Hawaiian island of Kauai will reduce restrictions that make it harder for tourists to visit.

The state’s governor greenlighted a request from Kauai’s Mayor for the island to once again participate in a “Safe Travels’’ program that allows visitors to forgo a required quarantine period if they have a single negative COVID-19 test. The new guidelines would take place as of April 5.

Kauai has required tourists who test negative for COVID-19 to stay for three days on a different island then test again before going to Kauai. Or they must spend three days at an isolated location on the island and take another COVID-19 test before they can venture out.

Kauai had fewer cases of the novel coronavirus than any other Hawaiian county, but its tight restrictions have taken a toll on local businesses and spiked unemployment.  

The relaxed restrictions come in the wake of the roll out of vaccines, a stabilizing of COVID-19 cases across Hawaii and other parts of the U.S., and contingency plans by hospitals in case there’s a COVID-19 surge.

“Kauai remains one of the safest places in the United States throughout the pandemic, thanks to the efforts of our community-minded residents and health-focused travel restrictions,” Kauai mayor Derek S. K. Kawakami said in a statement. “Our community’s efforts have allowed us this opportunity to safely rejoin the state’s Safe Travels program.”

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Hawaii legislators have proposed legislation that would standardize requirements for travel across the state. Tourism to the island has dropped significantly, and Hawaii has had one of the highest jobless rates in the U.S. during the COVID-19 health crisis.

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