In light of the ongoing pandemic, Hawaii is temporarily closing its borders to vacationers as it offers certain privileges for those in the country to leave.
The Hawaii Tourism Authority has granted $25,000 to Visitor Aloha Society of Hawaii (VASH) for the eviction program.
The program is aimed for incoming guests who couldn’t adhere to the imposed 14-day quarantine.
Free Return Travels Including Other Amenities
Visitors who fall into the COVID-19 flight assistance program will see themselves sent back to their airport of origin. In addition, they will also see covered expenses in both food and lodging as part of the scheme.
Actively been in operation since April 6, 2020, Hawaii has already sent 20 individuals back to their flight of origin. All of which in areas across the states and territory, Guam.
But the initiative to close down Hawaii’s tourism began as early as March 17. Part of the move was the announcement towards visitors to delay their visit by at least 30 days.
— Univ. Hawaii at Hilo (@UHHilo) April 28, 2020
Yet, those who had been repatriated find the program rather distasteful. One visitor who was forced to go back home claimed that VASH is merely exploiting the season’s low airfare cost. Pointing to a disparity which saw travel cost dropped to $238 from Oakland to Honolulu in May.
By March 26, the governor of Hawaii implemented the 14-quarantine, inclusive of both returning residents and foreigners.
According to VASH President and Chief Executive, Jessica Rich, the majority of those sent back are visitors who are regarded as “irresponsible.” This is in light of the nation’s active efforts in offsetting the spread of COVID-19 to Hawaii.
Originally a non-profit organization with the purpose of rendering visitor support, VASH has seen itself shift to a different kind of assistance to visiting guests.
Despite seeing a reduction of 99% of visitors since Hawaii’s attempt at closing its borders, a still small number of vacationers is found in the country. And, in spite of stern imposition for everyone in the land to go in quarantine, those same visitors are often found in beaches.
Technically, all of Hawaii’s shores are closed to accommodate visitors. But some still manage to get into the waters via other means. Others are simply too ignorant to heed the warning, despite locals’ protest in their outdoor presence.
Fearing the spread of the disease into the island, residents of Hawaii are joining the initiative. Through their own way, they’re asking people from abroad to postpone any attempt at traveling into the island.
Image used courtesy of Pixabay/dongpung