Hawaii is ending mandatory COVID testing requirements for vaccinated travelers entering Hawaii from July 8th.
The news comes after uncertainty about Hawaii’s easing of travel restrictions after the Delta variant strain of Coronavirus began spreading around the state. Hawaii Lt. Gov. Josh Green wanted the state to drop – as initially proposed – all testing requirements before the July 4th holiday.
Gov. David Ige has been reluctant to do so, refusing to commit to dropping testing requirements on July 4th as expected. So instead, the state will drop all testing requirements on vaccinated travelers entering the country from July 8th.
The Current Proposals
The initial plan was to drop testing and quarantine requirements Hawaii had vaccinated 60% of its people. Once Hawaii hit vaccination levels of 70%, the state would remove all travel restrictions and end its safe travels program.
Statistics show Hawaii has almost hit its target of fully vaccinating 60% of its population, with over 57% of the state receiving two doses as of June 23rd. However, the vaccination rollout has slowed down in recent weeks, prompting uncertainty about the easing of restrictions. 979,569 people have received their first vaccination as of June 23rd.
The rise of the Delta variant slowing vaccination rollout has meant Hawaii has decided against dropping testing requirements before the July 4th holiday, instead offering July 8th as the proposed date.
The Current Entry Requirements
Travelers who were vaccinated in Hawaii can bypass quarantine without pre-travel testing from June 15th. However, anyone who received their vaccination dose outside the state would have to show their negative test or undergo a mandatory 10-day quarantine upon arrival.
In addition, inter-county travelers would no longer need to create an itinerary in Safe Travels, undergo mandatory quarantine, or take a COVID-19 test from June 15th. Therefore, interstate travel became much more straightforward.
These restrictions will stand until July 8th, where the state proposes to drop testing requirements for those vaccinated outside of Hawaii and make traveling into the state far easier. The state initially opened to domestic tourists and some international tourists last October, but the state has kept the testing requirement in place ever since.
Travelers can skip the 10-day mandatory quarantine if they follow the pre-travel testing rules and come from the following places:
- Other U.S states
- South Korea
Unfortunately, because of the CDC guidelines, the state has banned travelers from the following countries:
- EU citizens
- South Africa
- United Kingdom
However, any country not on the above list will have to undergo a mandatory 10-day quarantine. In addition, all visitors – regardless of where they come from – have to complete a Safe Travels Hawaii Form and some Hawaiian islands require a second test upon arrival. Travelers will need a hard copy of these documents upon arrival in Hawaii.
The COVID-19 Situation In Hawaii
COVID-19 cases have been decreasing in Hawaii for the previous month, thanks to rising vaccination rates. The current average daily cases in Hawaii stand at 39, a 22% drop in the past 14 days.
In the previous week, Hawaii has seen community transmission of the Delta variant. The State Department claims to be investigating the “extent of household and community transmission.”
The Delta variant prompted concerns about easing travel restrictions in the coming weeks and has prevented the United Kingdom from fully unlocking because of rising rates despite the very high vaccination levels.
Hawaii will continue its plan to ease travel restrictions and open the state for domestic U.S travelers this summer despite the rising Delta variant cases.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories