Pity the poor traveler. For those wanting a sunny Hawaii break, or for local residents eager to get away, the travel protocols keep changing.
Pretravel testing to avoid a 14-day quarantine here seemed doable, but emerging problems with obtaining a timely negative test within 72 hours of arrival have complicated things. And now Kauai, alarmed by a spike in travel-related coronavirus cases, has asked to have the mandatory quarantine temporarily re-instated for the isle.
All this, and more, make for shifting travel rules from island to island, from week to week. Safeguarding public health is behind it all, of course, but economic recovery will take much longer than hoped.
Hawaii’s jobless rate still the highest
Hawaii is holding onto its spot as having the nation’s highest unemployment rate. According to the latest state-by-state breakdown, our rate in October was 14.3% — slightly more than double the nationwide rate of 6.9%. There’s a glimmer of good news in that we’ve made employment gains since September, when the state’s rate was 15.1%. But Hawaii will not soon return to the single digits enjoyed before COVID-19 hit.
Since early March, some 292,0000 applications for regular unemployment claims have been submitted to the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations. A stunning volume, compared with a tally of about 18,000 unemployed people during all of 2019.