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Hawaii is likely to keep its coronavirus stay-at-home measures in place until the end of June and will also discourage tourists from visiting, state Governor David Ige said.
The current 14-day mandatory quarantine for everyone traveling into the state, which began in March, will certainly be extended until the end of next month, Ige said in an online question-and-answer session late on Thursday.
Tourism is a big part of Hawaii’s economy – more than 10.4 million visitors came to the islands last year, supporting some 216,000 jobs in a population of around 1.4 million, according to the state tourism authority.
The state at one point considered sweeping use of GPS-enabled ankle bracelets or smartphone tracking apps to enforce stay-at-home orders given to arriving air passengers.
However, that plan was put on the back burner after the Hawaii attorney general’s office raised concerns.
In a talk streamed live on Facebook, Ige said that he was looking at ways to allow more businesses to reopen, such as restaurants with dine-in service, hair salons and barber shops, adding the state was looking at guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Hawaii has had over 630 cases of infection and 17 deaths from the new coronavirus, as of late Thursday. The state’s average of one death per 100,000 people is among the lowest in the United States, Reuters calculations show.
The United States has recorded over 1.4 million cases of coronavirus infections as of late Thursday, with over 85,000 deaths, according to a Reuters tally.
(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Frances Kerry)