The vast, wide-ranging tentacles of the coronavirus pandemic have struck again.
Hawaii, which has a self-imposed mandate to quarantine visitors for 14 days if they travel to the islands, has seen a drastic decrease in tourism.
As a result, for the second time in less than a month, Hawaiian Airlines has sent an official notice to the state’s Labor Department saying it intends to make additional reductions to its non-union workforce.
This will affect 35 employees at the airports in Honolulu and Maui, as well as at its corporate headquarters, effective October 19. This is on top of the notice sent earlier this month that Hawaiian Airlines will lay off about 2,000 workers, which includes more than 600 flight attendants.
Hawaiian Airlines said that the demand for air travel remains more than 90 percent lower than it was in 2019. To help combat that, Hawaii is considering the idea of a tourism bubble, of sorts, to draw more tourists and bypass a mandated 14-day quarantine on all out-of-state visitors.
The program, which would allow out-of-state visitors to bypass the quarantine if they show proof of a negative test result, is scheduled to take effect on September 1.
“If there are too many cases here and we haven’t stopped the increase, then we would be looking at delaying the September 1st date,” Gov. David Ige said at a news conference. “Clearly, we would want to see a stopping of the increase in the number of new cases here in the state and hopefully begin the trend downward. As I’ve said, though, we can only be successful…if we come together as a community.”
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