(Reuters) – Hawaii Governor David Ige urged residents and visitors to restrict travel to the U.S. state to essential business activities amid a surge in cases of COVID-19 in the islands.
The governor highlighted the restrictions on restaurant capacities and limited access to rental cars and said that those who choose to visit the islands will not be able to enjoy a typical Hawaii holiday.
“It is not a good time to travel to the islands,” the governor said in a press conference on Monday.
“We are seeing more COVID patients in our hospitals and ICUs are filling up,” he said, adding that the state is working towards expanding healthcare facilities.
The governor said that he supported Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi’s announcement on restricting indoor gatherings to 10 people and outdoor gathering to 25.
So far 62 percent of the state population has been fully vaccinated. He urged others to get vaccinated as soon as possible following the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s full authorization of Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE’s COVID-19 vaccine.
The latest request comes after the governor re-imposed COVID-19 restrictions earlier in the month limiting social gatherings, as the Delta variant of the coronavirus pushed cases and hospitalizations in the United States to a six-month high.
(Reporting by Bhargav Acharya in Bengaluru; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)