Hawaii is considering restricting access to the most desirable areas on its islands for locals only on weekends. Tourists would be shut out on peak tourist days.
John de Fries, the head of [Hawaii Tourism Authority], says on every island there are hotspots that can get overcrowded and congested with traffic.
“What we’ve asked [local governments] to consider is whether or not there are certain hotspots or certain areas that maybe belong to local residents only on Saturday and Sunday,” said De Fries.
This is framed as having tradeoffs between Hawaiian business owners, who sell to tourists, and locals who “might appreciate an opportunity to have weekends less crowded.”
How this lands on actual (often American) tourists doesn’t factor because “[e]very day for you as a visitor is a weekend.” If visitors from San Francisco or Los Angeles, who may be hopping over to the islands Thursday to Sunday, are shut out on Saturdays, they’re just visitors. Of course residents have all year, rather than only a few days, to experience the special parts of the islands.
Hawaii allowed residents only to travel between islands without quarantine during the pandemic, and required visitors to have reservations to leave. The state has taken numerous steps aimed at placating local hostility towards outsiders, and placating xenophobic attitudes about Covid-19, including towards other American citizens. So proposing this sort of differential treatment is unsurprising.
Still, approaches such as this are almost certainly legal. Despite the U.S. constitution’s article IV section 2 proclaiming that citizens of each state “shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States” courts have held that states cannot limit access to employment for residents of another state, or property ownership. However dating to Corfield v Coryell (1825), courts have generally allowed discrimination against non-residents in recreation, and this even extends to state benefits including university education pricing.
Just know that they’ll take your money, but many don’t want you there.
(HT: Island Miler who is far more sympathetic towards these restrictions than I am.)