Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include Hawaii’s easing of restrictions on social gatherings and restaurants once 60% of Hawaii residents are fully vaccinated.
After months of eager anticipation, all systems are nearly a go for full, unrestricted travel to Hawaii.
The one criteria that hinge on it all? Vaccination rates.
Hawaii Gov. David Ige announced detailed plans to make inter-island and trans-Pacific travel easier — and the eventual elimination of all COVID-19-related restrictions. Notably, this will include travelers vaccinated in Hawaii as well as those vaccinated in the mainland U.S.
Here’s what that plan looks like.
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Hawaii Inter-island travel
All inter-island travel restrictions — including testing and quarantine requirements — will end on June 15, 2021. This coincides with the state approaching a 55% vaccination rate. As of June 7, 53% of Hawaii’s residents have been fully vaccinated.
Currently, inter-island travelers must either undergo a 10-day quarantine, take an approved test within 72 hours of arrival or provide proof of vaccination in the state of Hawaii (proof of vaccination elsewhere is not permitted).
The state of Hawaii on May 11 rolled out its new vaccine passport program inside its current travel entry system, Safe Travels.
Related: Hawaii’s vaccine passport is available — but with two big caveats
Travel between the mainland U.S. and Hawaii
When Hawaii reaches a 60% vaccination rate, individuals vaccinated anywhere in the U.S. (including those in the mainland) will be able to bypass all testing and quarantine requirements with proof of vaccination through the state’s Safe Travels program.
Unfortunately, there is no firm date when this will happen. But as noted above, 53% of Hawaiian residents are fully vaccinated (as of June 7).
However, if you were vaccinated within the state of Hawaii, there is an exact date when you can bypass all COVID-19 travel requirements for trans-Pacific travel between the mainland U.S. and Hawaii — June 15.
Related: Everything you need to know about visiting Hawaii
When will all travel and capacity restrictions be lifted?
As more people get vaccinated, Hawai‘i is looking to change some of its restrictions on travel based on vaccination rates. The benchmarks are as follows: pic.twitter.com/FAzU9IAxK3
— Governor David Ige (@GovHawaii) June 4, 2021
Gov. David Ige announced that once Hawaii achieves a 60% vaccination rate, restaurants will be allowed to increase their capacity to 75% while up to 25 people can gather indoors and up to 75 people can gather outdoors. This won’t impact structured events such as weddings.
Once 70% vaccination is hit, all restrictions on travel will be lifted and the Safe Travels program will end.
Presumably, this means that even if a traveler is not fully vaccinated, they will be allowed to enter Hawaii without having to take a test or quarantine.
In a written press release, Ige said, “The easing of travel restrictions is a direct result of our robust vaccination rate…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.”
However, Ige did hint that even if the state does not reach the 70% vaccination threshold, he would still consider lifting travel restrictions if COVID-19 infection rates are low.
Related: I visited a reopened Kauai in Hawaii — 5 things to know before you go
Featured photo by okimo/Getty Images.
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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
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