(CBS) — Planning a trip to Hawaii? State officials there are asking tourists to stay away for the time being as COVID cases surge on the islands.
Hawaii is a popular vacation destination for New Englanders. In 2018, the Hawaii Tourism Authority said the Greater Boston market brings about 60,000 visitors to the state every year. In June 2021 as COVID cases declined, air service from Boston returned to Hawaii with 3,614 seats on flights to the island that month, data showed.
But for now, Hawaii Gov. David Ige is discouraging tourists from visiting, saying that it’s a “risky time” to be traveling. The Tourism Authority is recommending that vacationers postpone any trips until at least the end of October.
“I encourage everyone to restrict and curtail travel to Hawaii,” Ige said during a press conference on Monday. “It’s not a good time to travel to the islands.”
Hawaii governor tells potential tourists not to visit as hospitals and ICUs are "filling up" with COVID patients https://t.co/vYyr73Q9tP
— CBS News (@CBSNews) August 24, 2021
He said visitors cannot expect a “typical” vacation on the islands, with restricted restaurant capacity and rental car shortages.
Hawaii has reported more than 9,300 COVID cases in the last two weeks.
“We are seeing more COVID patients in our hospitals and the ICUs are filling up,” Ige said. “We know that we need to take action now in order to reduce the spread of COVID and ensure that our hospitals are not overrun.”