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Council Chair pens letter to Governor demanding tougher stance on visitor activity to protect island residents from pandemic.

by Gordon Pang, Star Advertiser

All nine members of the Honolulu City Council signed a letter urging Gov. David Ige to take stronger steps to isolate the state from outsiders during the COVID-19 virus outbreak.

The letter, among other things, calls for Ige to require that all visitors self-quarantine; order the Hawaii Tourism Authority and travel industry to half all advertising campaigns marketing the state as a visitor destination; and deny entry to all cruise ships entering the state.

The Council also is asking Ige to require all Hawaii residents returning to the islands from the U.S. mainland and foreign countries to self-quarantine for a period of 14 days.

The state this week established basic screening of cruise ship passengers at Hawaii harbors and is working on a similar policy for airline passengers.

“It is our belief, with prudent and swift action, our isolation can be our asset in our efforts to protect the public health, safety and welfare of our residents,” Council Chairman Ikaika Anderson said in a press release. “We recognize these actions will have immediate and significant economic impacts, but we have grave concerns that a prolonged and widespread outbreak in our state will hurt our city for years.”

Mayor Kirk Caldwell said he supported the Council’s letter to Ige.

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