Gov. Ige Lifts Interisland Quarantine on June 16; Out-of-State Quarantine to be Addressed Next Week
June 1, 2020 News Conference: COVID-19 Announcing the lifting of the Quarantine Inter-Island Travel Requirements.
Posted by Governor David Ige on Monday, June 1, 2020
By Wendy Osher
Governor David Ige today lifted the interisland quarantine on travel between the Hawaiian Islands, effective on June 16, 2020.
As the state lifts the interisland quarantine, they will be implementing thermal screening, a new interisland travel form and a more robust contact tracing program. The news comes as Hawaiʻi marks zero fatalities over the course of four weeks, and zero new cases today.
Gov. Ige reviewed key indicators that he said were necessary in order to make this happen. “Clearly we have the lowest case count in the country. In the last week, we’ve had a total of 12 positive COVID-19 counts. We have more than adequate health care capacity, as we’ve managed the disease here in the islands… and we have built and expanded our ability to test for COVID-19 throughout the state,” said Gov. Ige, noting that testing capacity is now available on every island.
For travelers that make an interisland trip before the quarantine is lifted on June 16th, will still have to carry out their full two week quarantine, even if they are traveling the day before it is lifted.
Meantime, the 14-day quarantine for incoming arrivals to Hawaiʻi from out-of-state will be addressed next week. That quarantine for travel from out of state currently remains in effect through June 30, but is expected to be extended beyond that point, as indicated in previous comments.
Hawaiian Airlines CEO Peter Ingram was among the individuals who spoke at a press conference held at the Daniel K Inouye International Airport this afternoon.
“Today we’re operating five round trips a day from each of Honolulu to Līhuʻe, Kona, Hilo and Maui. Those flights that are serving the needs of essential travelers have a lot of seats available on them already,” said Ingram. “On a typical day lately we’ll run on average 20% or 30% of load factors. So some of the additional demand can be accommodated just on the seats running very empty already.”
Windows with higher demand include Monday morning and Friday afternoon activity, which Ingram said is patterned after essential workers. That will be modified as more people begin traveling freely without the quarantine.
“We’re prepared to ramp back up. If you think about the number of flights–those five round trips to each of four markets (20 round trips, 40 flights per day). Typically prior to this, we would have had 180 flights per day traveling between the islands on average. I don’t think we’ll get up near that very soon because there’s some demand that’s just not going to be there,” said Ingram.
“The connections off our long-haul flights are not going to be there in numbers right now, and there’s still going to be some anxiety for people around traveling. And certainly people’s pocketbooks are hurting a little bit. So we’re going to start filling up the seats we have,” said Ingram.
According to Ingram, Hawaiian Airlines plans increase capacity to bring it in line with demand, and cap its load factors at around 70% on neighbor island flights.
*Video Courtesy Gov. David Ige / Facebook.