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Rules For Entering Hawaii May Soon Change

by SharonKurheg

One of the most stringent, if not THE most stringent state when it comes to COVID, is Hawaii. They’ve been like that from Day One, with Governor David Ige doing his best to protect his citizens, follow the science, and keep COVID at bay as much as possible.

Unlike other states that had strict rules about travelers (I’m looking at you, New York), Hawaii had a distinct advantage – you could only get there by plane or boat. So the Hawaiian government set up their Safe Travels Hawai‘i program, which is a multilayered process designed to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in their community from trans-Pacific passengers arriving at airports/ports across the Islands.

The program includes testing for Covid-19 shortly before arrival, presenting proof of full vaccination, or submitting to a self-quarantine period.

However it looks as if the definition of “fully vaccinated” may soon change, at least in the eyes of Hawaii’s Safe Travels program.

Under the current rules, arriving travelers from out of state only need two doses of the vaccine or a negative test to avoid isolating after their arrival in Hawaii. But Gov. Ige says the state, following the footsteps of more and more government agencies, is considering requiring a booster shot to be considered “fully vaccinated.”

If they do decide to make a booster shot a requirement, Ige says says any official change to Safe Travels would be weeks away. That way people have ample notice and can adjust accordingly.

Ige said he’s also talking with county mayors about requiring boosters for access to restaurants and events, but also suggested the decisions will rest with them.

Different counties in Hawaii have different rules regarding showing proof of vaccination and entry to restaurants and bars.

Feature Photo: Edmund Garman / flickr

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