People who have received the required two doses of the coronavirus vaccine could be allowed to travel to Hawaii without quarantining as soon as March 1. The state is working on a potential vaccine passport to verify their immunity, allowing them to skip the mandatory quarantine.
Inter-island travel without quarantine would also be extended to local citizens who have received their complete vaccinations as soon as April 1. The same program could be extended to mainland visitors by May 1.
At present, all visitors to the Aloha state must show evidence of a negative COVD-19 test within 72 hours of their arrival. Passengers are also screened for additional testing upon arrival. Any passenger that does not wish to get tested must quarantine for two weeks before they are free to travel around the island. Inter-island travel for visitors is still subject to the two-week quarantine mandate.
Hawaii has suffered a massive blow to its economy since quarantine started last year. The state has been relying heavily on tourism, both domestic and international. The isolation of the state and lack of proximity to additional hospitals have led to some of America’s stricter travel policies.
The proposed vaccination passport would involve travelers receiving an electronic code that would bypass standard quarantine protocols and procedures. Similar programs are being explored and rolled out in Iceland, Thailand, and Denmark. Other countries have already begun welcoming fully-vaccinated travelers without restrictions.
Although most Hawaiian islands are following the state’s two-test protocols for flight arrivals, Kauai still maintains tighter controls. The small island requires that on top of the initial negative pre-arrival test, tourists must stay at a pre-approved property for a three-day quarantine, upon which they must test negative again.
The good news is that the arrival of the vaccination will be a win for the Hawaiian islands, allowing much-needed tourists to visit without spreading the virus to the local people safely. The ordinarily large influx of visitors to the state every year far outpaces Hawaii’s ability to handle major public health threats, but a vaccinated population reduces the risk considerably.
The vaccination passport program is planning to be incorporated across several airlines, making it a seamless process for people who have received their two vaccinations to visit Hawaii’s pristine beaches.