Hawaii has taken a firm stance against visitors coming to visit the islands during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The island state has ordered all visitors and residents arriving on the islands to undergo a 14-day quarantine, but some people can’t resist a cheap flight deal, even during a pandemic.
Tourists who do not have the means to pay for the required accommodations and food delivery for a two-week mandatory quarantine will get a free one-way ticket home.
The nonprofit organization Visitor Aloha Society of Hawaii (VASH) is facilitating buying plane tickets for those not obeying the quarantine, already sending 20 people home.
“The majority of travelers we have sent back in my opinion have been irresponsible in traveling to Hawaii during the Covid-19 pandemic when they know we are trying to keep Hawaii safe from the spread of this disease,” VASH’s president and CEO, Jessica Lani Rich said.
John Monahan, president of the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, sent a letter to several media outlets asking them to discourage travel to Hawaii.
“Our greatest fear is that this unprecedented pandemic will overwhelm our health care system for locals and visitors alike,” Monahan wrote. “… It is our responsibility to ensure the safety of visitors and residents alike, and therefore request that anything written about Hawai’i strongly discourages travelers from visiting Hawai’i until otherwise directed by our state officials.”
By Kristofel Abella
Ka Lā staff writer
Star Advertiser – Hawaii tourism agency pays to send visitors home amid coronavirus crisis