Hawaii’s message to tourists: Please don’t come here right now

(CNN) — Although Hawaiian officials have urged people not to travel to the state during the coronavirus pandemic, some still aren’t listening.

Over 160 visitors arrived in the islands, not including inter-island travelers, on Wednesday, the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau said.

That number is a huge decrease compared to the roughly 30,000 visitors a day Hawaii normally gets this time of year. However, it is highest number since the mandatory quarantine was put in place, the Bureau said.
Hawaii Gov. David Ige established a mandatory two-week self-quarantine for any out-of-state visitors and inter-island travelers on April 1. Anyone who violates the mandatory quarantine could face up to $5,000 in fines or a year in prison, if convicted.
Earlier this week, John Monahan, president of the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, sent a letter to various publications asking them not to promote travel to Hawaii.

“It is our responsibility to ensure the safety of visitors and residents alike, and therefore request that anything written about Hawaii strongly discourages travelers from visiting Hawaii until otherwise directed by our state officials,” Monahan wrote in the letter.

The Bureau is hoping to decrease travel to the state to keep its health care system from getting overwhelmed due to the isolated nature of the islands.

“Our greatest fear is that this unprecedented pandemic will overwhelm our health care system for locals and visitors alike,” Monahan wrote. “We eagerly await the time when we can welcome visitors back to our shores and look forward to connecting with you then.”

CNN’s Scottie Andrew and Stella Chan contributed to this report.

This article originally appeared here