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Mayor downplays Green’s goal for interisland travel

Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino on Friday afternoon downplayed Lt. Gov. Josh Green’s comment earlier this week that June 1 needs to be “go time” for restoring interisland travel.

“At this time, we are not ready to comment on that statement,” Victorino said during a county media update. “I have to be honest with you, there are more things and more procedures that have to be in place to make sure that we allow the reopening for interisland travel.

There is long checklist of protocols that needs to be established before the resumption of interisland travel without a 14-day quarantine, he said.

In an Instagram message Wednesday, Green said “we have to open interisland travel soon” for surgical procedures and crises. “Very, very important so I am pressing for this in early June,” he said.

Pointing to a whiteboard with “6/1” written on it, Green said, “June has got to be go-time for our economy.”

Victorino said “June 1st may be stretching it a bit, but we’re looking at some time in early June to local travel — for residents to travel between the islands — but a number of issues have not been resolved.”

In other reopening developments, the Division of Motor Vehicles and Licensing enters the next phase of resumption of operations Tuesday, following the Memorial Day holiday. Services will be limited to state identification, driver’s license and permit renewals that expired prior to May 1.

There is a grace period for driver’s license and instructional permits expiring between March 16 and May 31; they are valid an additional 90 days. Commercial driver’s licenses and commercial learner’s permits expiring during that same period also are valid for another 90 days but no later than June 30.

For those needing to get a Real ID “Star” designation, the Department of Homeland Security has extended its deadline to Oct. 21, 2021, but the DMVL asks that those requiring this service to not come in until Jan. 1. All Hawaii driver’s licenses and state IDs will be accepted until the new deadline.

Other announcements from Friday’s briefing:

• The mayor’s office call center hours are changing to 7:45 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekends. For Memorial Day on Monday, the hours are modified to 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

• Kalana O Maui building will be illuminated in solid blue from 7 to 10 tonight in recognition of National Emergency Medical Services Week, which began Sunday.

“Our community relies on emergency medical service personnel and our first responders to come to our aid in life-or-death situations, often putting themselves in harm’s way,” Victorino said. “They have been the backbone of our defense against the coronavirus pandemic, and they are our frontline health care heroes. So if you see a police officer, a firefighter, a doctor, nurse or emergency medical technician, please say ‘thank you’ for all you do.”

* Dakota Grossman can be reached at dgrossman@mauinews.com.

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