Tourism resumes next week but some say ‘we are not prepared’

Coronavirus

HONOLULU (KHON2) — The countdown has begun. On Oct. 15, the state will resume tourism with the new pre-travel testing program but there are concerns over enforcement for those who choose not to get tested.

[Hawaii news on the go–LISTEN to KHON 2GO weekday mornings at 7:30 a.m.]

The governor’s 13th emergency proclamation states that hotels are responsible for enforcing quarantine orders and other emergency rules on their guests.

Anyone who chooses not to take a test before arriving in Hawaii is required to quarantine for 14-days. According to Governor David Ige’s 13th Emergency Proclamation, the hotel they are staying at is in charge of enforcing it

Hawaii Quarantine Kapu Breakers co-founder Angela Keen said that she doesn’t feel the state is ready.

“Hotels are not police officers. They don’t have the capacity. They’re not police officers and they’re not medical experts. And those are the two things that hotels are going to need in the days coming after October 15.”

Yet, hotel workers are being called upon as the first line of enforcement.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said that police have a lot to do already.

“(Police) are making sure that people comply with all the orders and they’re going to be dealing with quarantine breakers now so they have a lot of jobs to do. So I think as the partners in the visitor industry do their job first. If they can’t, then call HPD and they will step up and do the job,” said Mayor Caldwell.

The Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association President Mufi Hannemann said that many hotels already have protocols in place.

“We’ll put in our internal security measures in place that there’s a single room key that that person has basically to get into the room itself, and therefore cannot leave,” Hannemann explained.

But not all hotels are using that system, and it doesn’t actually prevent a guest from leaving their room–only from reentering it.

HLTA is making suggestions but ultimately hotels are allowed to create and implement their own plans.

“The primary objective all along has been to ensure that our properties are going to be providing a safe and secure environment first for workers to work in and obviously for those who are going to visit us. Then we also want to make sure the community understands what we’re doing here. So we’re prepared, we’re ready and we’re anxious,” said Hannemann.

Not everyone is convinced.

“We have seven days. We have a grand reopening. This is like a grand reopening except it’s an entire state with 1.5 million people and we’re not prepared,” said Keen.

Latest Stories on KHON2

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories