Effective July 8, individuals traveling in the US domestically to Hawaii can bypass pre-travel testing rules and quarantine if they are fully vaccinated.
- On this date, all Hawaii counties are expected to ease limits on travel and indoor and outdoor gatherings.
- The islands are expecting to see a statewide average full vaccination rate of a 60 percent by then.
- All current gathering limits are expected to be lifted in a couple of months, once Hawaii sees a 70 percent herd vaccination rate statewide.
Hawaii Governor David Ige said once the herd vaccination rate is achieved, “The Safe Travels program will end, and we will invite everyone to be able to travel to our islands. … Please get vaccinated.”
New COVID-19 cases are mostly prevalent among patients who have yet to be vaccinated, and the largest group is younger people. Perhaps it is a malady of being young and feeling invincible, or perhaps the young for their own social, political, and philosophical reasons do not trust the vaccination process.
Is Hawaii making a wise decision?
Opening Hawaii tourism to vaccinated travelers is excellent news for travelers, but is it a wise decision for public health?
Recently, the Delta variant of COVID-19 has been detected in Hawaii as well as the US mainland. In Israel, they have even closed the country to vaccinated travelers due to the concerns over spiking cases because of the Delta version of the coronavirus.
The Delta variant, which was first detected in India, now makes up approximately 10% of all cases in the U.S. The Delta variant could soon become the dominant strain of SARS-CoV-2 in the nation according the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The Hawai‘i Department of Health’s State Laboratories Division (SLD) confirms the SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.617.2, also known as the Delta variant of concern, is spreading in the state. All the persons with COVID-19 in the state were caused by the Delta variant have been symptomatic, none have been hospitalized.
The acting State Epidemiologist for Hawaii, Dr. Sarah Kemble, said: “Given what we know about the Delta variant and the cases already identified in Hawai‘i, we expect to detect additional cases in the coming weeks. Our best defense against of the variants is to get vaccinated as soon as possible.”
Newly-anticipated Hawaii travel measures for July 8
- Fully vaccinated US travelers flying domestically — including island residents returning home — will be allowed to bypass Hawaii’s quarantine and pre-travel restrictions, as long as they upload their vaccination records to the state’s Safe Travels website and arrive with a hard copy of their vaccinations records.
- The number of people allowed to attend social gatherings will increase from the current level of 10 people indoors to 25.
- The size of outdoor gatherings will increase from 25 people outdoors to 75.
- Restaurants will be allowed to increase their seating capacities to 75 percent of the maximum allowed capacity, as long as they seat no more than 25 customers indoors and 75 outdoors.
- Masks will continue to be required indoors until Hawaii reaches a 70 percent vaccination rate and all restrictions are expected to be lifted.
CURRENT TRAVEL INFORMATION
individuals fully vaccinated in the State of Hawai‘i may enter the state without pre-travel testing/quarantine starting the 15th day after the completion of their vaccination. The vaccination record document must be uploaded onto Safe Travels and printed out prior to departure and the traveler must have a hard copy in hand when arriving in Hawaiʻi.
Read more about how your COVID-19 vaccination can help you travel between counties in Hawai‘i: HawaiiCOVID19.com/travel/faqs.
The pre-travel testing program remains available for all travelers NOT vaccinated in Hawai‘i.
All travelers, including those from Japan, Canada, Korea and Taiwan, and any domestic travelers not vaccinated in Hawaiʻi, who board a plane on the final leg of their trip to the Hawaiian Islands without first securing a negative test within 72 hours before departure will be subject to mandatory quarantine.
The state of Hawai‘i will ONLY accept Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT) from a certified Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendment (CLIA) lab test results from TRUSTED TESTING AND TRAVEL PARTNERS. Travelers will not be able to obtain a Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT) upon arrival at any Hawaiʻi airport.
The negative test result must be uploaded to Safe Travels or printed out prior to departure and a hard copy in hand when arriving in Hawai‘i.
Travelers to Maui must download the AlohaSafe Alert App in addition to other requirements. Visit mauicounty.gov/2417/Travel-to-Maui-County for details.
For travelers from Japan, please visit Hawai‘i Tourism Japan (Japanese).
For travelers from Korea, please visit Hawai‘i Tourism Korea (Korean)
The CDC Order that went into effect on Jan. 26, 2021 does not impact the Safe Travels program. For international travelers coming to the State of Hawai‘i, only tests from Trusted Testing Partners will be accepted for purposes of bypassing the State’s 10-day traveler quarantine.