Good news has flowed out of Hawaii this past week, and we are now in a position where the light at the end of the tunnel is burning brightly.
Recently, the state put an end to the pre-arrival test program for travel between countries, and it also set real, tangible goals for a “vaccine passport program” and even the end of its pandemic travel restrictions altogether.
Here’s what you need to know:
As of June 15, there is no need for pre-arrival tests for travel between countries.
Previously, travelers needed to take an extra COVID-19 test before arrival if they wanted to travel from e.g. Oahu to Maui or the Big Island.
But from next week it is no longer necessary.
That new guide allows travelers already in Hawaii – both residents and visitors – to travel freely between the islands without the need for a pre-arrival test.
When the state vaccination rate hits 60%, vaccinated travelers outside the Pacific do not need a pre-arrival test.
We have all wondered when a kind of vaccine passport should be set up in Hawaii, and now we finally have something tangible to expect.
When the vaccination rate hits 60%, travelers on the mainland across the Pacific will be able to circumvent a test and quarantine before arrival by uploading their vaccination card to Hawaii safe travel website.
Currently, the vaccination rate is around 53% and is climbing, so we could realistically reach this mark by July, which was the original goal.
When the state vaccination rate reaches 70%, the Safe Travels program will end completely.
This is the big one – the end of the line when things return to normal. When the vaccination rate reaches 70%, Governor David Ige said he would end the Safe Travels program in its entirety.
This means that things will really be back to the way they were before COVID. There are no requirements, quarantines or restrictions for any traveler coming to Hawaii, vaccinated or not.
As with everything else related to COVID-19, things can of course change for a penny.
But with these realistic goals in place, Hawaii appears ready to fully reopen later this summer. We keep an eye on the vaccination rate and provide an update when needed.