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Honolulu Star-Advertiser: Vaccines Could Lead to Lifting of Travel Restrictions

The state might loosen interisland travel restrictions as early as next month, with similar adjustments under consideration for trans-­Pacific travel, if vaccine distribution supports the plan.

Lt. Gov. Josh Green told the Star-Advertiser last week he supports loosening interisland travel restrictions, especially for vaccinated travelers. Green has recommended loosening interisland travel restrictions as early as April 1. He’s also recommending allowing trans-Pacific travelers, who have been properly vaccinated, to bypass the testing and quarantine requirements on May 1.

Since Oct. 15, Green said, Safe Travels Hawai‘i has safely welcomed more than 1 million visitors to Hawai‘i while keeping infection rates low.

From March 7, 2020, to March 6, “Hawaii has had the lowest COVID-19 infection rate and the lowest COVID-19 death rate in the nation,” he said.

What hasn’t been healthy is Hawai‘i tourism, which still wasn’t in the best of shape Thursday, the first anniversary of the World Health Organization declaring COVID-19 a global pandemic.

Hawaii’s tourism industry isn’t just about airlines, hotels and rental car companies, Sean Dee, Outrigger Hospitality Group’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer, said.

“Visitors eat in our restaurants, which support wholesalers, drivers, fishermen and farmers. They shop in our retail stores and visit our attractions,” he said. “The tourism industry is the nucleus of the islands’ economy and represents a true economic ecosystem that benefits the majority of the residents.”

Read the entire article HERE in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Also picked up on Yahoo! HERE.