Coronavirus infects eight Hawaiian Airways staff; airline plans return

Hawaiian Airlines has released a new schedule for flights between American Samoa and Honolulu, as it was revealed that eight airline employees have tested positive for coronavirus this week.

The airline hopes to be flying to American Samoa from 6 August and to most of its mainland America destinations from 1 August.

From 1 August Hawaii will no longer require new arrivals to quarantine for a fortnight if they test negative for COVID-19 before they depart.

“The layered safety measures put in place to protect the health of our local communities promise to make travel to and from Hawaii more accessible than in recent months,” said Peter Ingram, President and Chief Executive Officer of Hawaiian Airlines. 

But the Honolulu Star Adviser revealed this week that eight airline employees have tested positive for coronavirus after a flight attendant training hosted in Honolulu.

Hawaiian Airlines spokesman Alex Da Silva said two flight attendant trainers and six trainees have fallen ill, and the source of the infections is currently unknown.

“Only one flight attendant worked one flight last week, prior to developing symptoms. We have provided information about each case to public health agencies to support any notification they deem necessary,” he said.

In American Samoa, Governor Lolo Moliga and the Coronavirus Task Force are no closer to deciding on whether to open the border to Hawaii, which in turn could affect whether Samoa opens up to American Samoa.

Currently the two Samoas are busy repatriating citizens home between the islands, and task force Chairman Iulogologo Joseph Pereria said there will be no Hawaii charter repatriation flight until flights to Samoa are finished.

Quarantine facilities are full and overwhelmed, he reported last week. 

Coronavirus cases in Hawaii are not slowing down, with 182 active cases and new daily cases still being reported in numbers as high as 20. So far the state has had 946 cases total.

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