Hawaii Ceases Tourism Amid Pandemic

Honolulu officially joined many worldwide tourist destinations in quarantine this weekend after officials enforced new measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus on Thursday. In addition to urging residents to stay at home, anyone arriving in Hawaii must undergo a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats.
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Additionally, flights to the islands have decreased significantly, and nearly 100 hotels have closed their doors. More hotels are expected to close in the following weeks. All restaurants, bars and nightclubs have also closed, though many businesses are offering takeout for residents.

These new restrictions have effectively halted nearly all tourism in the state, causing a rapid increase of unemployment claims in Hawaii as tens of thousands of residents rely on tourism for income.

According to ABC News, the U.S. Employment and Training Administration noted that applications for temporary unemployment assistance in Hawaii increased during the week ending on March 21. The state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations saw over 67,000 claims through the week.

While a majority of Hawaii’s beach parks have been blocked off with barricades and caution tape, state officials have granted residents access to the ocean for exercise and therapy. Beachgoers who attempted to lounge on the beach in Waikiki on Saturday were told by police that they must either get in the water or go home.

Hawaii officials confirmed 29 new cases over the weekend. The state currently has a total of 151 cases of the coronavirus.

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