Hawaii must lift pre-arrival testing and quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated domestic travelers in the United States once the state achieves a 60% vaccination rate.
The change is part of a detailed plan to terminate the state’s COVID-19-related travel protocols announced by Hawaii Governor David Ige last week.
Beginning June 15, inter-county travel will resume without restrictions, and fully vaccinated residents who have received all vaccines in Hawaii will be able to skip pre-trip testing and quarantine requirements upon returning to the state.
Once Hawaii’s vaccination rate reaches 60%, authorities will lift pre-arrival testing and quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated US residents who have received all vaccines in the country. Visitors will be required to prove their vaccination status through the state’s Safe Travels program.
Once the vaccination rate reaches 70%, Hawaii will lift travel restrictions for all visitors, including international arrivals, and end the Safe Travels program.
In a statement, Ige said it was possible to ease travel restrictions because of Hawaii’s “robust vaccination rate” and the sacrifices made by residents during the pandemic. However, he emphasized that the community still cannot let its guard down.
“We need to work a lot now to get to the point where Safe Travels is no longer needed to keep the people of Hawaii safe,” said Ige.
To date, nearly 60 percent of Hawaii’s population has received at least one dose of vaccine, according to the state’s health department. About 52% of the population has been fully vaccinated.
By comparison, about 52% of the US population has received at least one dose of vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 42% of Americans have been fully vaccinated.
In May, Hawaii suspended its authorization to wear an external mask and introduced a passport-vaccination program that allows fully vaccinated residents to move from one island to another without testing or quarantining.
However, travelers from out of state are still required to be quarantined unless they obtain a negative test result from a reputable provider within 72 hours of arrival.
The CDC recently announced that it is safe for fully vaccinated US residents to travel within the country with no testing or quarantine requirements. The agency also said that individuals who have received all the vaccines no longer need to wear masks.
COVID-19 cases have steadily declined in the United States since January, when the Biden administration introduced an ambitious nationwide vaccination program.
As of January 8, there were 300,779 new coronavirus infections reported, according to the New York Times. By June 7, the number had dropped to 13,707.