HONOLULU (KHON2) — Gov. David Ige held a news conference on Monday, April 5, at 2:30 p.m.
Doug Murdock, Chief Information Officer of Enterprise Technology Services, was also in attendance.
The news conference comes as officials discuss the next steps for revitalizing Hawaii’s COVID-stricken economy.
Hawaii’s Safe Travels Program still requires all travelers to take a pre-test within 72 hours of their flight, and it is unknown how long it will remain in place — even for vaccinated people.
Governor David Ige says he is open to loosening some travel restrictions in the future, but wants to make sure that more people are vaccinated first.
Meanwhile, Lt. Gov. Green has been pushing for a vaccine passport for months and hopes it can be rolled out quickly in Hawaii since federal health guidance has approved of vaccinated travelers doing so without a pre-test — especially for residents who want to travel inter-island.
“If you have been vaccinated, it’s really outrageous to not allow someone to travel freely between the islands. That’s completely safe and acceptable,” he told KHON on April 2, the same day the CDC issued the latest guidance.
Last week, Ige told KHON2 he was concerned about the uptick of cases in the islands while COVID-19 cases are rising across the country.
Oahu’s seven-day case average alone stood at 53 on Monday, April 5, and state officials say there are discussions of moving back to Tier 2.
Oahu has been in Tier 3 for about five weeks, as the seven-day case average continues to rise. Under the current system, the case average has to be above 50 for two weeks to snap back to Tier 2. Last week, Oahu was at 58.
Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi has been clear that he doesn’t want to have to move backwards when it comes to the City’s reopening strategy.
Ige knows the pandemic has been tough on everyone, but is asking the community to hold on a little bit longer and is counting on the vaccine rollout to slow the spread.
“If at this pace we continue, we would be in Tier 2,” he said. “Which means we would look at restricting activities again.”