(BIVN) – A new Vaccination Travel Protocol Program will soon allow individuals who have been fully vaccinated in the State of Hawai‘i to bypass pre-travel testing and/or quarantine when traveling between islands.
Governor David Ige, Lt. Gov. Josh Green, Maj. Gen. Kenneth Hara and county mayors – including Hawaiʻi County Mayor Mitch Roth – unveiled the program during a news conference on Tuesday.
From the State of Hawaiʻi:
Starting May 11, individuals fully vaccinated in the State of Hawai‘i may travel inter-county without pre-travel testing/quarantine starting the 15th day after the completion of their vaccination.
Travelers who arrive in Kauaʻi, Maui and Hawaiʻi counties before they are fully vaccinated or before the 15th day after the completion of their vaccination, will be placed into mandatory quarantine for the full 10 days, unless they meet the criteria for other exceptions (pre-travel testing and CISA). The City and County of Honolulu does not have an interisland travel quarantine order.
“Together, we made the decision to start with an inter-county travel program for those vaccinated in the State of Hawai‘i, because we are able to verify the information. This phased approach will allow us to assess the impacts of the program to our pre-departure document check program and screening procedures. Most importantly, we’ll be able to assess any impact to our virus transmission rates and healthcare facilities. As always, our number one priority is the health and safety of Hawai‘i’s people,” said Gov. Ige.
“Mahalo to the State, fellow counties, local healthcare partners, and most importantly, everyone in our community whose collective efforts have brought us to this point,” said Mayor Derek S. K. Kawakami. “On Kaua‘i, we have administered more than 55,000 vaccines. Because we have built this capacity, our residents who have been fully vaccinated will be able to travel inter-county, visit their friends and loved ones, and support our local economy.”
“Maui County is happy to join the other counties in extending this exception to fully vaccinated inter-county travelers. I know many Maui residents have been eagerly awaiting this program so families who live in different counties can visit one another more easily. It’s a positive step on our road to recovery and another good reason to be vaccinated,” said Maui County Mayor Mike Victorino.
“We are grateful for the collaboration with the state and counties regarding inter-county travel, which is important for the economy and so many business professionals, in addition to local residents being able to see loved ones who live on different islands,” said Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi. “While O‘ahu hasn’t had an inter-county quarantine for travelers arriving from neighbor islands, we are still supportive of the plan as it will benefit our vaccinated O‘ahu residents who need to travel to other islands in our state.”
“We are islands separated by miles of ocean but yet closely connected by friends, family, and a shared sense of community. This is why we are so excited to work alongside the Governor and other mayors to begin safely reconnecting our families from Hilo to Hanalei and everywhere in between. For us, this is a step toward normal, and we are prepared to continue supporting the State as we combat the virus and begin reopening – together,” said Hawai‘i County Mayor Mitch Roth.”
According to the State, vaccinated individuals traveling inter-county will need to:
- Provide a CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card with name, birthdate, type of vaccine, date(s) vaccine was administered and lot number(s) for each vaccine dose.
- Create an online account and register with the State of Hawai‘i Safe Travels Hawai‘i web program.
- Affirm that they are fully vaccinated, and that the uploaded CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card is accurate and authentic.
- Upload a PDF file or digital image of a properly filled CDC Vaccination Record Card to the Safe Travels Hawai‘i web program.
- Bring a digital image as well as the original CDC Vaccination Record Card with you in case you are asked to produce it.
“At this time, the State of Hawai‘i is accepting only the ‘CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card’ or a printout from the Vaccination Administration Management System (VAMS),” a State news release explained. “Vaccinated individuals who did not receive the CDC card or VAMS printout, must return to the provider that administered their vaccination, for a CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card. State or territory Department of Health issued cards will not be accepted.”
The State added:
- Travelers age 5 and under may bypass quarantine requirements, provided they are traveling on the same itinerary as a parent/guardian who has met vaccination verification requirements.
- Travelers over age 5 who are not yet eligible for vaccinations may participate in the pre-travel testing program and meet county testing requirements if seeking an exception to mandatory quarantine requirements.
- Travelers ages 16 and 17 who are fully vaccinated should follow the vaccination verification requirements for adults.
- Travelers must continue to monitor for symptoms and must follow local county regulations – wearing a mask, physical distancing and hygiene practices.
Although the inter-county Vaccination Travel Protocol Program begins May 11, a trans-pacific (continental U.S.) program “is still in development and may begin this summer, and the international program is set to begin later this year,” officials say.