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Mayor Interview: Preparations Underway for New Neighbor Island Quarantine

Preparations are underway for the new neighbor island quarantine that takes effect tomorrow, Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020. Maui Mayor Michael Victorino spoke with KPOA 93.5 FM’s Shane Kahalehau this morning, and provided updates for travelers to and from Maui County.

The Governor has reinstituted the mandatory 14-day quarantine for any travel between islands other than arrival on Oʻahu.  The quarantine includes travel between Maui to Hawaiʻi Island or Kauaʻi, as well as travel to and from Molokaʻi and Lānaʻi.   The quarantine includes travel from Maui to Hawaiʻi Island or Kauaʻi, as well as travel to and from Molokaʻi and Lānaʻi.

This takes effect on Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020, and remains in effect through Aug. 31, unless terminated or extended by a separate proclamation. 

On Saturday, Mayor Victorino visited Kahului Airport to check on layout and staffing.  “I would warn everyone, please be patient if you are returning or leaving.  The lines may be a little longer than normal so please be patient,” he said.

All of the neighbor islands will have a 14-day quarantine unless travelers obtain an exemption for being an essential worker or for medical reasons. Travelers may seek an essential work or medical exemption for their trip to Maui County by emailing their request to TravelExemption@mauicounty.gov. Travelers are encouraged to submit travel exemption requests as far in advance of their trips as possible.

Mayor Victorino said that with 15 new cases on Maui so far this month, “we are on a record setting pace,” and may surpass the month of April if the rate continues.  “It’s really important that people start remembering face masks, using the face masks adequately and correctly, (practicing) good hygiene, and physical distancing… COVID-19 is not taking the summer off.”

The Mayor also discussed successes realized in New Zealand where the a total lockdown occurred nationwide.  “I think the other challenge is that we as a country of 337 million people and Hawaiʻi with 1.4 million people, we have a more diverse situation and economically, we may be more dependent on what’s around us.  I don’t know New Zealand’s economy, but I know they’re hurt… everything changed.  I believe the people and businesses were not really ready to sacrifice that much… We can’t go back and change what we have done.  We can only move forward… We’ve got to do what is right, now,” said Mayor Victorino.

“(If) we want COVID-19 to stay out of our community, we’ve got to take care of ourselves first, and then whoever comes in from the outside–quarantine them, keep them from spreading it if they bring it in.  And if every island in every county did the same thing and really worked hard… remember there were times when Oʻahu was at zero, not long ago,” said Mayor Victorino.

“It just got out of hand when we reopened, we opened up to gatherings–and this is the key.  New Zealand doesn’t allow gatherings.  They don’t have congregating of people in large crowds anymore.  And so they’ve taken that proactive part of the equation,” said Mayor Victorino.

Original source: https://mauinow.com/2020/08/10/mayor-interview-preparations-underway-for-new-neighbor-island-quarantine/

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