Hawaii Gov. David Ige pictured in Honolulu on Nov. 15, 2016. (Kyodo)==Kyodo

Hawaii Gov. David Ige said Tuesday travelers from Japan will be exempted from the U.S. state's mandatory 14-day quarantine, starting Nov. 6, if they test negative for the novel coronavirus at designated hospitals within 72 hours prior to arrival.

"Many of Hawaii's residents trace their ancestry back to Japan, and welcoming our Japanese guests back to Hawaii is an important step in maintaining the close relationship between our two regions," the governor said in a statement.

The travelers will still be subject to a 14-day quarantine upon their return to Japan.

Hawaii has designated 21 medical institutions in Japan, including St. Luke's International Hospital in Tokyo, Shonan Kamakura General Hospital in Kanagawa Prefecture, Fujita Health University Hospital in Aichi Prefecture and Yamasaki Family Clinic in Hyogo Prefecture.

The popular tourist destination that attracts 10 million travelers annually has been hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic, which has led to suspensions of international flights and the imposition of strict border controls by many countries.

Hawaii has been gradually easing entry rules, with visitors from the U.S. mainland exempted from the 14-day quarantine since Oct. 15.

Around 15,000 coronavirus infections have been confirmed in Hawaii.