HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Health experts have already warned residents of Hawaii against travel to areas at high risk for COVID like Las Vegas, Florida and Texas.
Now, a prominent Los Angeles emergency doctor is telling travelers to stay away from Hawaii.
Dr. Michael Daignault is an emergency room physician for a Los Angeles medical center and is a frequent expert featured in the LA media.
And here is his advice to those who wish to travel to the islands at the moment:
“I would advise people not to go now. You have to be responsible. You have to consider Hawaii to be a national treasure and we have to preserve it and protect its people, ”he told Hawaii News Now.
In a recent Instagram post, he said travelers who cannot postpone a trip should take a before and after test regardless of their vaccination status, get travel insurance that includes medical evacuation to the mainland, avoid crowds and important events and avoid high risk activities.
“I think Hawaii of all states is such a fragile situation.”
“I advise patients, family members or friends not to travel to a place where there is a large increase in COVID cases,” he added.
On Monday, the governor also asked visitors to postpone their next trip to Hawaii given the rise in COVID infections and hospitalizations in the state.
Travel experts say they don’t blame the tourism industry for the recent increase in COVID cases, as health officials agree much of the spread is due to gatherings of residents.
“From the start, COVID in Hawaii was not generated by the visitors entering,” said travel consultant Keith Vieira, of KV and Associates.
He says tourism demand is starting to cool down in part because of people’s safety concerns.
Group travel has flattened out. And Asian, Australian and Canadian travelers still don’t come in large numbers to Hawaii.
“I think telling visitors not to come will only hurt our economy, put thousands of people out of work and not solve the problem, but it feels good because we have done something,” he said. said Vieira.
“We have to go on with our life,” he added.
Both Daignault and Vieira say vaccines passed at restaurants, bars and events are a way to balance security and economy.
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