Hawaii asks tourists to ‘postpone their vacations’ for at least 30 days due to coronavirus

Mar 18, 2020

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If you’ve been fantasizing about a tropical escape to the Aloha State, you’ll need to put those travel dreams on hold a little bit longer.

Governor David Ige of Hawaii on Tuesday announced a spate of new orders designed to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, according to Hawaii News Now. These regulations will close bars, clubs, state parks and theaters; limit restaurants to take-out orders only; encourage tour operators to limit or suspend operations; halt nonessential travel, including inter-island travel; and increase screening at airports and cruise ship ports. Ige also asked tourists, including U.S. mainlanders, to stay away and avoid visiting Hawaii for a month.

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“We know it will have a negative impact on our economy, but we are confident that taking aggressive actions now will allow us to have quicker recovery when the crisis is over,” Ige said during a press conference. “With Hawaii’s aloha spirit and hospitality, we have always prided ourselves on sharing our islands and culture with the world. However, with the thread of COVID-19, we need to take care of our people and communities first. I am strongly encouraging our guests to postpone their vacations for at least the next 30 days, and reschedule it for a later date.”

Yes, that applies to mainlanders and theoretically extends to Hawaiians considering travel from one island to the next.

Of course, travelers shouldn’t just reconsider travel to Hawaii right now — all nonessential travel should be avoided right now.

Related: Should I travel? Advice for the coronavirus outbreak

Only you can make the very personal decision about whether or not to keep, postpone or cancel upcoming trips, but health officials say the fastest way to return to normalcy is to stop coming in contact with others. That means ceasing travel, except for essential and urgent reasons.

We support the travel industry and want to be there for it and encourage more trips, but only when the time is right. Instead of flying across the Pacific right now so you can work remotely from a Hawaiian island, we suggest you use this time to plan your next vacation. You don’t have to book yet, but figure out where you want to go and map out the right strategy for building up the right points and miles for those trips.

For travelers who want their first vacation after the situation improves to be a far-flung retreat in Hawaii, that probably means stockpiling your points, and learning the best ways to redeem them for flights to Hawaii.

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You’ll also need to select your perfect Hawaii resort. So, consider this an opportunity for some serious armchair daydreaming while you’re waiting out the pandemic. Read up about our favorite ways to use credit card award-night certificates in Hawaii; experience a luxury retreat in Maui; and pick the right Hawaiian island for you.

Even if you don’t book a single night at a hotel or any flights, the best way to start preparing for life after the coronavirus may be to let your mind wander to faraway places. After all, destinations — especially those that rely heavily on tourism, including Hawaii — will be eager to welcome visitors back as soon as the crisis has ended.

And it’s safe to say we’ll all be in desperate need of a day at the beach. And maybe a mai tai or two.

Feature image by Melanie Lieberman / The Points Guy

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