* The Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) commissioned a second survey to gauge overall trip satisfaction under the new Safe Travels program. (You can review our coverage of the first survey here.) In the latest survey, 82% rated their trip as “excellent.” That result was down by 3% compared to the previous survey. You can review the full results in well-organized slides here.
* That same HTA survey indicated 90% compliance in wearing a mask, which is in near alignment with the statewide mask-wearing observational metrics. Apparently, the mayor of Maui has different observations as he had some harsh words aimed at visitors in statements shared by Hawaii News Now:
“You see these people on the beach back here, they’re visitors and they’re not wearing masks,” he said. “I tell you right now, as far as I’m concerned if you can’t obey our rules, don’t come if you can’t wear a mask or do what is right.” He added, “I don’t care if you come from Texas, I don’t care if you come from Mississippi, or any state that doesn’t require it. Here in Hawaii and Maui County, it is a mandate.”
Per the statewide rule, face coverings are not required while outdoors when physical distance of six (6) feet from other individuals (who are not members of the same household/living unit/residence) can be maintained at all times. Maui County has some exceptions to the statewide rule as explained in this most recently released list of COVID-related rules issued from Maui County. Per page six of their 28-page long rule document,
“Within Maui County, this exception applies:
1. When persons are stationary and adequately separated, such as occupying a pool lounge chair, beach chair, or towel.
2. Face coverings must be worn while walking to and from the pool or beach area and may only be removed once the person is stationary and adequately separated from non-household members.
This exception does not apply, and face coverings are required:
1. On sidewalks, hiking trails, and in parks and similar areas, unless actively engaged in strenuous outdoor physical activity, provided adequate physical distancing is both possible and practiced.
2. In any open-air or partially open mall, marketplace, lobby, atrium, gas station, or similar facility.
3. Where specific facility rules, such as for sports, bars, and restaurants, are established.”
Many COVID prevention rules are buried in long documents full of “legalese” and cross-referencing to other long documents. We wonder if the face covering rules need better explanation in plain language and not stuck in long documents.
* On Hawaii’s Big Island, they’re considering modifying their COVID-19 testing of arriving travelers citing mounting costs per Hawaii News Now. The test they are referring to is the test conducted at the Big Island airports for arriving travelers. The pre-travel test will still be required. Out of a total of about 180,000 tests upon arrival, there were 165 positive results.
* Turtle Bay Resort on Oahu’s North Shore is plans to reopen July 1, 2021 after a multi-million dollar renovation per the Star Advertiser. This resort is one of our Oahu favorites, so we’ll be excited to eventually see the renovated resort.
* Southwest Airlines announced they’re launching a pre-clearance program for travelers departing to Oahu and Maui from their five California gateway cities. Pre-clearance provides an option for travelers participating in the state’s pre-travel testing program to bypass the airport screening upon arrival in Hawaii.