Hawaii Governor David Ige announced vaccination rates in the state have resulted in major (and popular) updates his Safe Travels program, which had placed testing and quarantine restrictions on travel to and within the popular tropical destination in response to the global pandemic. Beginning June 15, travel restrictions will be lifted for travel within and between the Hawaii islands, while restrictions on travel to and from the state will be eased or eliminated entirely for the fully vaccinated in the near future.
“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 in a statement announcing the new travel guidelines.
Currently 52 percent of the Hawaiian residents have been fully vaccinated. Beginning June 15, travelers entering the state who have already been vaccinated in Hawaii will be able to bypass testing and quarantine requirements. All inter-county travel restrictions within the state will also end on June 15. Once the vaccination rate reaches 60 percent, travelers to the state who were vaccinated outside Hawaii but within the domestic U.S. will be able to skip testing and quarantine requirements as well. All travel restrictions will be eliminated once the state reaches a 70 percent vaccination rate.
Currently, those with a state-issued inter-island vaccine passport can travel within the state without restriction. Travelers to Hawaii from outside the state can also skip the testing and quarantine if they get tested at one of the Safe Travels program’s trusted partners. Last month, the state lifted its outdoor mask requirement and eased restrictions on outdoor and ocean sports activities such as surfing and kayaking.
All the actions currently taken or planned by the state have been in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and recommendations. Ige sees vaccination as the key to not just opening the state, but also staying healthy.
“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 Hawaii safe,” Ige said.
Honolulu Pride is currently planning events and programs for October 2021 — Honolulu Pride Month.