Island arrivals down to 136 Thursday

State health, MVB officials greet flyers, including just 11 visitors, at their gates

A few outgoing passengers assemble near the ticket lobby at Kahului Airport on Thursday morning, the initial day of the governor-ordered 14-day quarantine of visitors and residents, who arrive in the islands from out of state. — The Maui News / MELISSA TANJI photo

Just 136 people arrived at Kahului Airport on Thursday, the first day of the state’s mandatory 14-day quarantine of visitors and returning residents from out of state, according to the Hawaii Tourism Authority on Friday.

Of the 136, just 11 were visitors, 44 were residents and 81 were crew members, who are exempt from the quarantine.

Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino estimated that Maui used to see 5,000 to 6,000 arrivals a day last March.

“Yesterday, our visitor count drastically dropped,” he said at a news conference Friday. “Many flights have been canceled and continue to be canceled. So it’s less and less flights coming into Maui from the transcontinental destinations.”

Maui had the second highest total of arrivals Thursday in Hawaii, with Honolulu seeing 1,326; Kona, 109 arrivals; and Lihue, 18 arrivals. Of the statewide totals Thursday, only 268 were visitors, the Hawaii Tourism Authority said.

On Friday, Maui County added two more confirmed cases of COVID-19, which brings the county total to 16 — 12 residents returning home from travel and four visitors, Victorino said. There are no confirmed cases on Molokai and Lanai or in Hana, he added.

The statewide total for confirmed COVID-19 cases rose to 120 with 14 new cases Friday. Of the new cases, 12 are Hawaii residents, one a nonresident and one unknown residency. Ten are from Oahu, two from Hawaii island and two from Maui.

More than 5,900 tests for COVID-19 have been conducted in Hawaii as of Friday.

Since Thursday, passengers on Mainland flights arriving at Kahului Airport have been greeted by state Department of Health and Maui Visitors Bureau officials at the gate, Victorino said.

The officials take the agriculture declaration form, which contains the name, residence and address of the flyer. It also provides information about the hotel or other lodging visitors are to be quarantined at as well as identifying residents who will be quarantined in their home.

“So far, everybody, as far as we have been told, has been compliant,” Victorino said. 

Staff can call residents and visitors to check on them and their compliance, he said.

* Melissa Tanji can be reached at mtanji@mauinews.com.


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