By AUDREY McAVOY
Updated: October 19, 2021 08:20 PM
Created: October 19, 2021 08:00 PM
HONOLULU (AP) - Hawaii's COVID-19 case counts and hospitalizations have declined to the point where the islands are ready to welcome travelers once again, the governor said Tuesday.
Gov. David Ige said vacationers and business travelers are welcome to return to the islands starting Nov. 1.
His announcement comes nearly two months after he asked travelers on Aug. 23 to avoid Hawaii because case counts were surging with the spread of the highly transmissible delta variant. The state didn't impose any new travel quarantine restrictions, and Ige's plea was a mere request. Even so, it prompted thousands of travelers to cancel plans to visit Hawaii.
In the intervening months, Hawaii's seven-day average of daily new cases has plummeted from 900 to 117. COVID-19 hospitalizations have dropped from more than 400 to about 100 statewide.
"I think we are all encouraged by what we've seen over the last several weeks with the continuing trend of lower case counts," Ige said in a remarks at a ceremony opening a new airport facility in Kailua-Kona. "Our hospitals are doing better, and we have fewer COVID patients in them. Most importantly, our health care system has responded, and we have the ability to move forward with economic recovery."
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