HONOLULU — About 8,000 people landed in Hawaii on the first day of a pre-travel testing program.
It allows travelers to come to the islands without quarantining for two weeks if they produce a negative coronavirus test. The state-run testing program is an effort to stem the devastating downturn caused by the pandemic on Hawaii’s tourism-based economy.
However, gaps in the program coupled with increasing cases across the U.S. and the world have raised questions about whether Hawaii is ready to safely welcome back vacationers.
Meanwhile, restaurant cards for unemployed workers are expected to begin arriving in Hawaii mailboxes on Friday. The $500 prepaid debit cards cover meals and purchases at bakeries and catering services. About 116,000 state residents have filed for unemployment insurance.
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:
— U.S. testing 3 drugs to try to tamp down coronavirus
— France records 30,000 virus cases, highest single-day rise
— India reports 680 daily deaths, lowest in nearly three months
— Europe, U.S. reel as virus infections surge at record pace, prompt new restrictions
— White House puts political operatives at CDC to try to control virus information
— Thousands arrive in Hawaii on first day pre-travel testing allowing no quarantine
— Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:
LONDON — Lancashire agreed to move into England’s most severe level of COVID-19 restrictions after striking a deal with the U.K. government on funds to implement the measures.
The deal means that the region of 1.5 million people will join the neighboring Liverpool region in the government’s highest risk tier, forcing pubs and bars to close. Restrictions on socializing also come into effect and residents are advised to minimize travel.
No deal is in sightfor Greater Manchester, which is holding out for more money to implement the measures targeted at areas with the highest infection rates. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has criticized Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham for “effectively trying to hold the government over a barrel over money and politics.’’
SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina — A leading Bosnian politician has tested positive for coronavirus as the country hit a record number of new cases.
Bakir Izetbegovic, the president of the Party of Democratic Action and a former Muslim member of the Bosnian three-member presidency, on Friday tested positive for COVID-19, his party said.
The 64-year-old has gone into isolation since taking a test after he felt mild symptoms of the virus, the Klix online portal said. He is recovering at home.
Bosnian health authorities on Friday reported 621 cases and eight deaths.
BUCHAREST, Romania — Romania recorded more than 4,000 confirmed daily coronavirus infections for the third straight day.
Health authorities reported a record 4,026 cases on Friday. There were 75 deaths, slightly below the all-time-high of 82.
The nation of 19 million has conducted more than 2.8 million tests. There have been 172,516 confirmed cases and 5,749 deaths.
BRATISLAVA, Slovakia — Coronavirus infections in Slovakia hit a record high for the