It’s a Hawaii no one has seen before. Empty beaches, empty roads, only a smattering of people going to essential jobs or paddling out for a quick “individual” surf session.

On April 10, only 424 people flew to Hawaii — down from roughly 30,000 arrivals the year before.

Here’s what that looks like on Oahu.

According to an ongoing survey from University of Hawaii, most people are staying home. Only 3% of the first 11,000 respondents said they kept attending social gatherings, even after the stay-at-home order in late March.

Hawaii health officials have said they expect people will need to continue staying home until at least June.

Having a system for testing visitors for the virus is key to restarting Hawaii’s tourism industry quickly, according to a report by the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization.


By the first week of April, more than 160,000 Hawaii residents applied for unemployment. The industries hit the hardest: accommodation and hospitality.


Traffic counts have dropped by half along H-1 freeway’s most heavily traveled corridors compared to last year, according to the state Department of Transportation.

Want more information on COVID-19 in Hawaii? You can read all of Civil Beat’s coronavirus coverage, find answers to frequently asked questions or sign up for email newsletter updates — all for free.

Quality journalism takes time.

A story that takes fives minutes to read often takes days to report.
Quality journalism takes time and resources to produce, but with support from readers like you, Civil Beat can investigate issues and publish stories that are otherwise difficult to fund.
Become a donor and help support Civil Beat’s next investigation.

About the Authors