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Tourists Are Banned From Hawaii Until at Least October Due to the Pandemic

The islands have seen a record number of COVID-19 cases in August.

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The stress of the pandemic likely has you begging for a vacation. But because of that, travel overseas and to tropical locales isn't the safest route -- nor is it even allowed in parts of the world.

Due to surging coronavirus cases, Hawaii Governor David Ige announced Tuesday that tourists were banned from the Hawaiian islands until at least October 1. Despite earlier plans to reopen the state for tourism on September 1 by eliminating a mandatory 14-day quarantine (if they could prove a negative COVID-19 test), Hawaii is now seeing more cases in August than it did the entire stretch between March and July. 

"We cannot deny that Hawaii is seeing a surge in the positive COVID-19 cases," Ige said at a press conference. "There are numerous clusters and wide community spread."

Though the hope is an October 1 lift on these restrictions, Ige told Hawaii News Now he will not hesitate to extend the bans through November or December if deemed necessary. 

"I know that going backwards will cause further harm to our economy but we have always said the health and safety of our community will be the highest priority," he said.

In total, Hawaii has seen 4,878 coronavirus cases -- 3,000 of which have been reported just since August 1 alone, Travel & Leisure reports. In addition to that extended quarantine requirement, which forces tourists to remain inside their hotel or rental space for a 14-day period, officials are also mandating stricter guidelines for locals as well, including a ban on gatherings both inside and outside for the next 28 days. Groups of more than five are also restricted from going to museums, movie theaters, or participating in activities like boating. Bars, beaches, parks, and trails are shut down, too. 

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Megan Schaltegger is a staff writer at Thrillist.