Hawaii vacations become a lot easier Thursday, but are tourists really welcome?


Hawaii is going to start providing an alternativealternative to its mandatory quarantine rule starting Thursday, but don’t pack your swimsuit without knowing the details.

Visiting the islands still won’t be as carefree as it has been in the past, and there are still elements in the plan to be worked out.

On Oct. 15, the state begins allowing tourists to forego a 14-day quarantine if they get negative results to a COVID-19 test at least 72 hours before their departure from the mainland. The Safe Travels program was supposed to begin Sept. 1 but was postponed after a coronavirus spike in the state.

“I want people to come if they are fully prepared to test, know that they are healthy and are prepared to wear a mask,” Lt. Gov. Josh Green, who has taken a leading role in developing the program, told USA TODAY. “If they do all those things, we are excited to resume our relationship with old friends.”

But, he added, “we are very mindful of risk, and we’re just trying to begin the process of a healthy restoration of our economy. We are not pushing for any large numbers. We just want to begin to kind of shake off the rust.”