Hawai‘i to Lift All Travel Restrictions Once Most Residents Are Vaccinated

When the state reaches a 60 percent vaccination rate, vaccinated Americans can bypass the testing requirement. When it reaches 70 percent, all restrictions will end.

Hawai‘i to Lift All Travel Restrictions Once Most Residents Are Vaccinated

Hawai‘i—minus the pretravel COVID-19 testing—is within sight.

Photo by Abbie Warnock-Matthews/Shutterstock

Hawai‘i Governor David Ige unveiled the state’s plans for lifting travel restrictions on Friday, and those plans are based entirely on vaccination rates.

At press time, 52 percent of Hawai‘i’s residents had been fully vaccinated, according to the governor (Johns Hopkins had the state at 45 percent as of June 7). When that number reaches 60 percent, fully vaccinated U.S. residents with proof of vaccination traveling from the mainland will be able to bypass the state’s COVID-19 testing requirement, also known as the Safe Travels program.

When the state reaches a 70 percent vaccination rate, all restrictions on travel will be lifted, Governor Ige announced.

Ige also said that all restrictions for interisland travel will be lifted on June 15. In May, fully vaccinated state residents were given the green light to bypass mandatory COVID-19 testing when traveling interisland. Hawai‘i residents who are not fully vaccinated when they take an interisland flight, as well as all nonresident travelers in Hawai‘i, must comply with the pretravel testing and/or mandatory quarantine requirements laid out by each individual county: Kaua‘i, Maui, and the County of Hawai‘i.

All counties in Hawai‘i are participating in the vaccine pass program except Honolulu County, which does not require interisland travelers take a COVID test or quarantine.

Also on June 15, travelers entering the state on a domestic flight who have been vaccinated in Hawai‘i can bypass the COVID-19 testing and quarantine requirements.

Hawai‘i launched its Safe Travels program on October 15, 2020, allowing travelers to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result to avoid an otherwise mandatory 10-day quarantine. Currently, out-of-state travelers (ages five and older) arriving in Hawai‘i must furnish evidence of a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken within 72 hours of boarding their flight to the islands.

But the end of the testing and quarantine requirement is nigh.

“The easing of travel restrictions is a direct result of our robust vaccination rate, and a community that sacrificed and did what it had to do over the past year and a half to stop the spread of COVID-19,” Ige said. “We need to push hard now so we can get to the point where Safe Travels is no longer needed to keep the people of Hawai‘i safe.”

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Michelle Baran is a deputy editor at AFAR where she oversees breaking news, travel intel, airline, cruise, and consumer travel news. Baran joined AFAR in August 2018 after an 11-year run as a senior editor and reporter at leading travel industry newspaper Travel Weekly.
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