The sun sets on Hawaiian tourism…For now.
On March 26th of this year, Hawaiian governor David Ige implemented a mandatory 14-day quarantine upon any new arrivals into the state. The measure was unprecedented—not only in the state’s 60 year history—but also within the entirety of the US. As of now, no other part of the country has enacted such severe legislative measures to restrict domestic travel.
“We need to come together as a community to fight this virus,” he told the press, without giving a definitive date for when the measures would be lifted. “We want this action to send the message to visitors and residents alike that we appreciate their love for Hawaii but we are asking them to postpone their visit.”
So if you’re reading this and you’re not in Hawaii, do not plan to visit anytime soon. The island is effectively closed to tourism as the number of COVID-19 cases rises above 400, with 5 confirmed deaths. If you’re already in Hawaii, here’s what you should know about the statewide ‘stay-at-home’ order.
As of now, all residents must remain inside until April 30th, except for when engaged in essential activities. And you must maintain social distancing guidelines to the fullest extent possible. If you can work from home, you are required to do so. Violations will result in a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, $5,000 in fines, or both.
Many restaurants remain open for takeout and delivery. If you’re on Oahu, all the major food delivery apps are available, including Uber Eats, Postmates and Grubhub. On the outer islands, however, your options might be confined to Door Dash—which still offers a breadth of local options, increasing by the day. Check in with some of your favorite eateries by calling them directly. Even if they don’t typically do so, many of them have started offering delivery throughout the quarantine period.
Enjoy the local liquids while observing social distance.
Kohana Hawaiian Agricole Rum
As of now, Hawaii has not legalized to-go cocktails. They may soon follow in the footsteps of more populous states such as California, Texas, and New York—all of which are temporarily allowing the practice to support bars. In the meantime, you can certainly have beer, wine, and liquor delivered to your door. On Oahu, big chains such as Target and Sam’s Club are provide same day delivery through sites such as Instacart and Shipt. The same sites will also bring you groceries. Additionally, Aloun Farms has partnered with the Hawaii Farm Bureau to establish a once-a-week curbside farmers market at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center. A limited amount of curated boxes will be available for order every Sunday on the HFB website.
On the outer islands, Maui is serviced by Aloha Discount Liquor in conjunction with Maui Courier Service. On the Big Island, Kailua-Kona residents can choose from a wide selection of craft spirits and wine from the Kona Wine Market. Fresh produce can also be brought to door by way of Instacart, which partners with Costco, Safeway and Target.
Enjoying spam musubi from the comfort of your lanai is still legal–and quintessentially Hawaiian.
While the state parks and beaches are closed across all islands, outdoor exercising is still permitted. You can continue to hike through trails that are not explicitly closed. While you can’t sunbath, running on the beach is permitted, as is surfing, wake-boarding and other individual maritime sport. Just make sure to maintain the minimum distance of six feet of social distance.
Staying safe throughout the coronavirus pandemic in Hawaii does not mean you can’t do anything. It just means you need to act responsibly, obey the law, and constantly be aware of the ever-changing conditions. The faster you do your part, the faster the community can get back to business as usual—which in this part of the Pacific is nothing more than another day in paradise.
The Napali Coast from the air.
Brad Japhe Source