HAWAII — Hawaii officials on Thursday suspended the state’s curfew for all passengers flying from mainland China to Hawaii for a third day amid heightened fears of coronavirus spread.
The move came as the nation’s largest airlines canceled flights from Beijing and Shanghai on Wednesday amid fears of new coronaviruses.
David Ige said the state will allow travelers to board flights in limited numbers from Shanghai and Beijing as well as to Guam.
The state also will let passengers board flights from Los Angeles to Honolulu from Wednesday.
Ige said he expects the virus to return to Hawaii within a week or two.
The state’s travel advisory, which was first issued Wednesday night, had prompted some airlines to cancel flights.
The airlines are canceling a total of 990 flights, including all domestic flights.
Ige’s order, which is subject to a 60-day review, will allow airlines to resume flights from the affected cities, he said.
I’m going to continue to work with my colleagues in Congress to make sure we have the resources to make this work, I said.
Hawaii is one of the nation\’s busiest airports, and its busiest is the Los Angeles International Airport, with more than 3.2 million passengers last year.
“It’s a really big step forward,” said Matt Mascagni, a senior analyst with travel and tourism consultancy firm TheMarker.
He said the ban will likely be temporary, and that the state can adjust its restrictions based on how quickly the virus develops.
For now, the state has set a limit of 500 passengers per day on its domestic flights, which means airlines will only be able to fly from the capital to the affected areas of Hawaii for certain dates, Mascagno said.
The CDC says the coronavillosis virus has been detected in more than 1,000 people in California, New York, Washington and Oregon.
In the United States, coronavaccine cases have risen to nearly 1.1 million this year.