Hawaii will remove travel restrictions as vaccination rates rise throughout the state in the coming weeks. The state has set out a clear roadmap, which could see complete travel freedom by August. For most of the pandemic, Hawaii has had stringent travel restrictions.
However, on Friday, Gov. David Ige declared that the state would eliminate all travel restrictions once vaccination rates are high enough. Furthermore, all interisland restrictions will end on June 15th. There have been restrictions on flying between the islands since the pandemic began.
The removal of restrictions on June 15th will mean that travelers can move between the Hawaiian islands without needing a covid test or vaccination.
Gov. David Ige stated that once vaccination rates reach 60%, he will accept vaccination cards from anywhere in the United States. That’s massive news for US domestic travelers because it will mean traveling to Hawaii without the need to take a Covid-19 test or complete mandatory quarantine.
Gov. David Ige also suggests that once vaccination rates reach 70%, all travel restrictions and the safe travels program will end.
Therefore, all domestic travelers will be able to enter Hawaii without needing a Covid-19 test, mandatory quarantine, or proof of vaccination. That means Hawaii would be almost back to normal.
The Current Vaccination Rates In Hawaii
After setting a clear roadmap towards freedom, it’s essential to look at the current vaccination rates. As of the 5th of June 2020, Hawaii has vaccinated 52% of its population.
That includes a total of 1.64 million vaccination doses, with 682,000 people fully vaccinated. So, the state is 8% away from accepting vaccination cards from the mainland and 18% away from ending all travel restrictions.
Hawaii expects to vaccinate the next 18% by the end of the summer. Experts believe it will take around 400,000 more doses to reach the dream number of 70%. Heather Raethel, the CEO of the Healthcare Association of Hawaii, states, “If you got to 50,000 (doses) a week, it’s eight weeks. If you get up to 70,000 a week, it’s six weeks.”
Nonetheless, the current vaccination rollout has already increased inbound travel, with state economists predicting 6.6 million arrivals to Hawaii this year. Hospitalization rates have dropped since the vaccination rollout began, giving hope to travelers and the travel industry.
Unfortunately, vaccination rates have slightly slowed down in the previous month. However, the new roadmap laid out by Gov. David Ige will give Hawaii a clear sight of normality. To promote vaccination uptake in Hawaii, Gov. David Ige has announced an incentive program to encourage people to get the vaccine.
All vaccinated residents can receive discounts and deals at local stores if they have the vaccine, and these prizes include 1 million HawaiianMiles from Hawaiian Airlines.
The Current Hawaii Covid-19 Restrictions
There are restrictions on travel to Hawaiian islands, including restrictions upon entering Maui, Hawaii, Molokai, Lanai, Oahu, and Kauai. These restrictions include a 10-day quarantine for all arrivals from the mainland. However, if travelers use the pre-travel testing option, they can bypass the quarantine.
The pre-travel testing option requires travelers to prove a negative Covid-19 test, but it must be from a state-approved trusted testing partner. All travelers will need a test within 72 hours of their flight.
The news that Hawaii is easing restrictions in the coming months is welcome news to all US travelers. As global restrictions continue to frustrate travelers, the option of visiting Hawaii later this summer – albeit a restriction-free Hawaii – is an exciting proposition for all Americans. It might not be long before you can fly your surfboard to Hawaii!
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com