HONOLULU (KHON2) — Los Angeles County is implementing new travel restrictions — including not allowing tourism into L.A. and requiring residents to quarantine for 10 days if arriving from outside of Southern California. As Hawaii’s biggest domestic visitor market, the new restrictions have an impact on the recovering economy.
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The Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism expressed some encouraging news for Hawaii’s tourism industry. They say Hawaii’s visitor industry was up 23% in November, which went up to 25% in December.
“Tourism is up, it’s continuing to rise,” University of Hawaii at Manoa Travel Industry Management Professor Jerry Agrusa said. “I think we’ve done a great job of training our personnel especially in the hotels.”
Lieutenant Governor Josh Green says he hopes the state’s safe travels program will be enough to protect the state from surges on the mainland.
Like in Los Angeles, where hospitalizations have nearly doubled in the last month to 7,697.
“We have a general approach to all of America, and we’ve already endured enormous cases from L.A.,” Lt. Gov. Green said. “L.A. itself is self-policing because they have a a no-travel ban on themselves.”
Green hopes it won’t get to a point where he has to exclude L.A. from the safe travels program. He has stated before that he would consider doing so for U.S. cities that have a surge in cases of the UK variant of the virus.
“We haven’t done a geographic ban yet as a state so what we’re doing as a state is to make sure everyone coming in is negative,” Lt. Gov. Green said.
According to a Monday report in the Los Angeles Times, ambulance crews have been advised to cut back on the use of oxygen, and are urged not to bring any patient to a hospital if they have “virtually no chance of survival.”
Back in Hawaii, in case of a surge, the state can make more hospital beds available to 30% capacity, but extra physicians and nurses are hard to come by.
“Everybody else god bless them is worse than us,” ” Lt. Gov. Green said. “So for us to take extra healthcare workers from Oregon or LA or Texas, it’s tough because they’d more likely be going to those places where their hospitals are overflowing,”
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