Hawaii Pushes Forward With Tourism Despite Safety Concerns

A man sits on a nearly empty Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Friday, Oct. 2, 2020. After a summer marked by a surge of coronavirus cases in Hawaii, officials plan to reboot the tourism based economy later this month despite concerns about the state's pre-travel testing program. (AP Photo/Caleb Jones)

(AP) – Starting Oct. 15, Hawaii will welcome most visitors who test negative for the coronavirus within 72 hours of their departure. The pre-travel testing program marks the loosening of months of economically crippling virus restrictions, among them a mandatory 14-day quarantine for all arriving travelers and two separate lockdown orders for locals.

The new plan was postponed when infection rates soared over the summer. Some residents worry that gaps in the October plan could further endanger a community still reeling from the pandemic and summer infection rates that reached 10% after local restrictions were eased ahead of holidays.

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