As more and more people are vaccinated against COVID-19, many are wondering when Hawaii will create special provisions for vaccinated travelers to go to Hawaii without pre-testing or 10-day quarantines. That’s a very good question that remains unclear at the moment.
On January 28, Hawaii’s Lt. Gov. Green sent a proposal to Gov. Ige recommending timelines to allow vaccinated travelers to move more freely without pre-travel testing or quarantine. In order to be eligible for relaxed rules, a person must receive the full vaccine dose requirements plus allow at least two weeks prior to traveling.
Lt. Gov. Green’s proposal is a phased approach. The initial phase would create relaxed rules for vaccinated, inter-island travelers. Green suggests the first phase could begin as soon as February 15 to March 1. The second phase, which would relax rules for vaccinated U.S. mainland travelers, could start as early as April 15 to May 1.
We should note that this proposal is predicated on Hawaii vaccinating their most vulnerable populations. For more details on this proposal see this KHON2 segment.
But, before everyone gets excited about this prospect, Gov. Ige indicated he’s not so keen. Ige was asked about his thoughts in a Star-Advertiser live conversation on February 8. Ige is cautious about relaxing any air travel restrictions for vaccinated travelers. He stated, “Until the science (tells) us that those who are vaccinated cannot carry the virus and, I think most important, do not transmit it to other people, I think it would be irresponsible to say that those vaccinated can travel about freely.” How long will it take to have that answer? We’ll have to wait and see.
Post publishing UPDATES
This article was originally published February 9, 2021. As news on this topic will be emerging over time, we will list updates:
- March 1, 2021 – In an informal, online chat with the Star Advertiser, Lt. Gov. Green said he supports a vaccine passport for travel beginning May 1, 2021. That would allow for those with verified vaccines to be able to travel to the state without COVID-19 testing or quarantine.
- March 24, 2021, Lt. Gov. Green says he hopes the vaccine passport could be in place for Hawaii by mid-May per KHON.
- April 5, 2021, Maui seeks to begin pilot program with vaccine passports to bypass pre-travel testing and quarantine. The program is proposed to begin with inter-island travel first before eventually opening up to trans-Pacific travelers. See our article for more information.
- April 12, 2021, we posted that Hawaii’s Gov. Ige declared that vaccinated visitors will eventually be able to bypass both pre-travel testing and quarantine, however the start date of that program is not yet known.
- Per KHON, leaders are indicating we may hear of possible vaccine card option the week of April 12th, with a possible start in May. It will likely start with inter-island travel only.
Subscribe to our free newsfeed to stay up to date with Hawaii travel rules as well as our award-winning Hawaii travel advice. Carefully enter your email address into this link.