HONOLULU – Hawaii’s governor has instituted a mandatory 14-day quarantine starting Thursday of all people traveling to the state as part of efforts to fight the spread of the coronavirus, Hawaii News Now reported.
The order applies to returning residents as well as visitors.
“We need to come together as a community to fight this virus,” Gov. David Ige said at a news conference in the state Capitol. “This mandate is the first of its kind in the nation. We want this action to send the message to visitors and residents alike that we appreciate their love for Hawaii but we are asking them to postpone their visit.”
The state announced 11 new cases of people with the coronavirus, bringing Hawaii’s total to 48, according to Hawaii News Now. Three of them are hospitalized.
The U.S. Army announced a soldier with the 25th Infantry Battalion based in Hawaii tested positive for the coronavirus, the first case linked to the Army community in the state, Hawaii News Now reported. The soldier is in isolation.
In Italy, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte tightened the national lockdown, shutting down all production facilities except those that are “necessary, crucial, indispensable to guarantee essential goods” for the country. Conte said Italy is living through “its gravest crisis since World War II.”
Conte said the sacrifice pales in comparison to those made by other citizens, ranging from doctors and nurses to supermarket clerks and security forces.
Local authorities in Italy’s northern regions have been pleading with the national government to enact stricter measures. The most hard-hit region, Lombardy, accounts for more than 60 percent of Italy’s rapidly surging death toll.
Italy’s economy has been stagnant for several years, and some in the country were reluctant to shut down industry, in a move that would deepen Italy’s economic crisis.
The stricter measures will be in effect until April 3.
The British government meanwhile heightened its response to the new coronavirus, telling up to 1.5 million sick and vulnerable people to stay home and avoid contact with others for at least 12 weeks.
The government says people with certain health conditions — including recipients of organ transplants, people with cystic fibrosis, patients with blood or bone marrow cancer and some people on immune-suppressing drugs — should “shield themselves” from the spreading pandemic by living in isolation.
Special deliveries of groceries and medicine will be arranged by an alliance of public agencies, the military, food retailers and volunteers.
The move came as Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned the spread of the virus was accelerating. He said Britain’s health system would be “completely overwhelmed” without a “heroic and collective national effort” of social isolation to slow it.
Britain had 5,018 confirmed cases of the virus and 233 deaths, an increase of more than 50 deaths from a day earlier.