Hawaii travel might soon become easier for those who have received a COVID-19 vaccine. Those people will be able to skip the mandatory 10-day quarantine of Aloha State. The island state is working on a vaccine passport.
Tourists can travel Hawaii with a vaccine passport
Hawaii is currently developing a vaccine passport of sorts, which would give inoculated travelers a digital code that would permit them to skip the quarantine and travel between islands, according to Hawaii Lieutenant Governor Josh Green.
This vaccine passport is expected to start with essential workers who are fully vaccinated first. It could be offered as early as March 1 for state residents who have received a vaccine for more than two weeks. Whereas mainland tourists would likely become a part of the program by May 1.
Presently, most Hawaiian islands let visitors skip the quarantine if they have proof of a negative Covid-19 test from a certified laboratory. The test should be taken within 72 hours of arrival. The island of Kauai has even tighter protocols in place. The visitors must test negative before arrival, stay at an approved “resort bubble” location, and then get a negative test a second time more than 72 hours after the arrival.
Green said he was optimistic that all vaccinated state residents would be able to travel by April 1.
“This is the way we restore our economy very quickly,” Green said. “We would likely see a huge uptick in visitors by, say, the fall this way.”
Hawaii governor expressed caution
However, Hawaii Gov. David Ige has shown concern about lifting traveling restrictions for those who have been vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the Associated Press.
Ige said that until science told us that those who are vaccinated cannot carry the virus. And most important, they do not transmit it to other people it would be irresponsible to say that those vaccinated can travel about freely.
Vaccine passports are becoming popular all around the world, and particularly in Europe. As of now, four cruise lines have announced they will mandate all passengers to be fully vaccinated before setting sail.
Hawaii has managed more than 260,000 vaccine doses to date. While Green estimates that more than 400,000 Hawaii residents will be vaccinated by the rollout of the passport program.