Gov. Ige wants to step up Hawaii coronavirus vaccine campaign

Coronavirus

HONOLULU (KHON2) — More vaccine campaigns targeting those who are hesitant, inter-island travel getting easier and making tourism better for locals by reserving areas for residents on the weekends.

These are all on Gov. David Ige’s wish list, which he laid out in a one-on-one interview with KHON2.

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The governor says not allowing tourists to visit certain spots on weekends would be hard to enforce but he says the visitor industry can help. The idea is being explored by the Hawaii Tourism Authority and the governor says it is a matter of sending the right message and tone to visitors.

“We would be happy for you to go to different facilities, but we also ask you to respect the notion of sharing access to a beach or a park with the local residents,” said Gov. Ige.

Gov. Ige says Hawaii has given at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to 60% of the adult population. He admits there is some hesitancy among those who are younger. There is a push for more campaigns on social media and more efforts to reach immigrant populations who are not getting the right message.

“We are trying to provide on-site language interpreters for anybody that might continue to have questions,” said Gov. Ige.

Vaccinations will play a key part in allowing residents to travel inter-island on Tuesday, May 11. Gov. Ige says Safe Travels is currently testing the system to electronically verify the information. The goal is to allow residents to register their information by Thursday, May 7.

“We hope to do the electronic verification, when we launch on the 11th of May, we’re on on track to be able to do that,” he said.

If not, then the vaccination card will have to be checked manually. The governor also says he will likely approve the bill passed by the Legislature that will allow police to issue fines to those who violate the mask mandate or gathering limits.

“Assuming that everything checks out, and I sign it, then we’ll be working with the counties to implement. So I would imagine, in a month or so after signing, that we would be able to implement,” said Gov. Ige.

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