reopening

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Hawaii is not the only tourist destination preparing for the eventual return of visitors. Thailand is moving ahead with plans to accept visitors, but very gradually.

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Frightening calls from the school nurse. Waiting in vain for word from school officials. Canceled sports practices. Marching bands in quarantine.

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The spread of COVID-19 continues to be uneven in different parts of the world. One location where the number of new cases continues to rise is the Philippines. But despite that trend, restrictions are being eased in the capital.

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Many students across the state are preparing to resume classwork next week. But the re-opening of schools remains a major point of controversy — not only in the United States, but also in one of Asia’s largest countries.

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The start of the school year will take the form of distance learning for students on Oahu. That’s also the case in many places around the country and the world – including Hong Kong.

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The timetable for increased tourism remains uncertain. That’s true for Hawaii, but it’s also true for much of the world. And in one part of Southeast Asia, government leaders are proposing a new approach.

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It will be at least another month until Hawaii hosts any out of state visitors who don’t go through a two-week quarantine. In the Asia Pacific, some locations are slowly opening to visitors, but generally not from overseas.

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With a daily focus on the millions of COVID-19 cases around the world, it may not seem like a good time to go to a movie theater. But in China, many theaters around the country have re-opened — and they’re getting customers. 

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The visitor industry is adjusting its expectations for the summer now that Governor David Ige has delayed the next stage of re-opening to travelers who test negative for the coronavirus. While that delay will last until at least September, a new phase of travel is now under consideration in Japan.

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Sports fans are likely looking forward to a couple of dates later this month. Major League Baseball is scheduled to open its season in two weeks — while the National Basketball Association plans to get underway a week later.

But in Asia, sports are adding a component the U.S. won't have: fans in the stands.

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As Hawaii moves closer to a gradual re-opening of tourism, other visitor destinations are doing the same. One of the latest to announce plans is the Indonesian island that's the country's most popular with visitors.

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In less than four weeks, Hawaii will be open to travelers who can prove they’ve recently tested negative for the coronavirus. Other tourist spots around the world are considering the timing and other logistics of re-opening. And that includes a beach destination in Thailand that’s popular with international tourists.

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The gradual loosening of some travel restrictions in different parts of the world will have an impact on airlines. But in the Asia Pacific, shifting conditions are already forcing changes in the business.

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Governor David Ige says he’s close to announcing details of a plan to re-open trans-Pacific travel to Hawaii. Other locations in the region are taking a cautious approach, but moving to a new phase this week.

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One of many questions about the phased re-openings of communities around the world concerns education. It’s not just about the plans for local schools, there are still a lot of issues concerning international students. And that includes in the Asia Pacific.

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This week the state lifted quarantine restrictions on inter-island travel. Government officials are still looking at what will be needed to resume limited trans-Pacific travel. But the timing of travel from at least one Asia Pacific destination may be delayed.

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Interisland travel without quarantine is now underway. And on Friday, bars will be allowed to re-open on Oahu. Friday also marks a new phase for looser restrictions for two important economies in Asia.

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One of the latest locations to ease public restrictions imposed after the coronavirus pandemic is Thailand.

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The most heavily populated urban area in the world is lifting restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic. Today is the first day that Tokyo will move to a new phase of reopening.

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NEW YORK — States are rolling back lockdowns, but the coronavirus isn't done with the U.S. Cases are rising in nearly half the states, according to an Associated Press analysis, a worrying trend that could intensify as people return to work and venture out during the summer.

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Government officials in Hawaii and many other travel destinations are trying to figure out how to safely encourage tourism. In southeast Asia, the short-term answer is closer to home.

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From restaurants to beauty salons, this week brings a loosening of some restrictions here in Hawaii and elsewhere. In parts of the Asia Pacific, that includes going back to school – on different timetables.

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Governor David Ige says he’s “having discussions” about international air travel to Hawaii — including what he calls “safe travel corridors.” Those are also called “travel bubbles” which has become a buzz phrase for a growing number of locations in the Asia Pacific.

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Hawaii is far from the only place in the world that’s debating what to do about tourism. There’s another oceanfront destination that’s making some small moves this week, and still considering possibilities over the longer term.

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Communities around the state and the country are slowly re-opening after an extended shutdown. That includes one part of the Asia Pacific that has been under one of the longest lockdowns in the world.

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The gradual process of re-opening is continuing across the state and in differing degrees around the world. Some countries are starting to look at possible ways to allow certain visitors, with careful controls — and that includes China.

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Japan has moved into a new phase of re-opening this week – including its largest city.

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States are taking different approaches on slowly re-opening businesses. That’s also true for countries, where two key economies in Southeast Asia are moving into a new phase.

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Updated 5/14/20, 11:30 a.m.

NEW YORK — U.S. health officials on Thursday released some of their long-delayed guidance that schools, businesses and other organizations can use as states reopen from coronavirus shutdowns.

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While most states are starting to re-open their economies, many of them have not seen a consistent decline in the number of new cases of coronavirus. A similar pattern is emerging in some countries — including Indonesia.

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