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Hawaii Dropped Travel Restrictions

Hawaii eased some of its Ttravel Restrictions on Thursday, announcing that fully vaccinated domestic tourists no longer need to quarantine or take a pre-flight COVID-19 test.Sheri Kajiwara, Hawaii’s Safe Travels special projects administrator, said that Unvaccinated tourists still have to either quarantine or test negative 72-hours before flying to the islands. But for those who are vaccinated, this new announcement is going to be a game-changer.

The University of Hawaii’s Economic Research Organization, the dropping of travel restrictions for fully vaccinated tourists might not lead to an extra boost in tourism. This is due to people having booked their summer revenge vacations.Regardless, at the rate tourists are currently flocking to Hawaii, the number of travellers headed to the warm-weathered state is coming close to or surpassing 2019’s levels. Locals and businesses are feeling the strain of mainlanders swarming the islands again.

Over-tourism is not a new issue for Hawaii, but local figures like Kaniela Ing former Hawaii House of Representatives member and current climate justice campaign director at People’s Action want tourists to stop coming to Hawaii. Even companies like U-Haul in Hawaii have been feeling this strain. Hawaii’s rental car fleet dropped by over 40% during COVID-19, and many car rental companies haven’t been able to regrow their fleet sizes in time for the summer travel boom.

As a result, tourists headed to the Aloha State have turned to renting moving trucks and vans, decreasing U-Haul’s on-hand equipment for locals. Kurihara was one of nearly 39,000 travellers who arrived in Hawaii on Thursday using the state’s Safe Travels program and a vaccination or pre-travel test to avoid a mandatory 10-day quarantine.

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