With its crystal-clear waters, long, sandy beaches and idyllic, palm tree-lined groves, Hawaii is as close as anywhere when it comes to searching for the definition of paradise. However, for the bulk of the last 15 months of the pandemic, that paradise has been hard to reach for many, with several restrictions in place to stop the spread of Covid-19.
However, true to their word, Hawaii has decided to peel back some of its restrictions, giving hope to travelers that a wider easing of restrictions may be around the corner. Here’s everything you need to know about this story, and what it might mean for your travel plans.
Covid-19 In Hawaii – What Travelers Should Know
Ever since the islands reported their first positive cases of Covid-19 back in March 2020, the local government has been quick to take all the steps necessary to prevent the spread of the virus. Actions such as closing state parks, implementing a curfew and limiting air travel to all-but essential travel played their part in giving Hawaii some of the most impressive Covid-19 related statistics out of any of the states.
However, whilst the state may have reported low levels of Covid-19-related cases and deaths, the economic impact took its toll. A destination that relies heavily on tourism, the state prioritised the health of its people over profit, with 2020 seeing the number of visitors arriving by air fall 73% compared to the previous year as a result of restrictions – with 2020’s second quarter figures falling by as much as 98.8%. However, changes are on the way that could see these figures return to normality.
Hawaii Eases Restrictions – Information For Travelers
Just this week, changes have come into effect on Hawaii that have paved the way for a wider reopening in the coming months. Effective as of June 15th, those who are traveling inter-island within Hawaii will no longer require a pre-travel test, and there will also be no quarantine requirements for inter-island travel. As well as this, there are no restrictions for those who fly between islands in Hawaii.
Also effective as of June 15th, travelers who have been vaccinated in Hawaii will be able to travel on trans-Pacific routes without taking a pre-travel test, whilst those who are entering the state and have been vaccinated in Hawaii may bypass the quarantine altogether without a pre-travel test.
There have also been changes announced that mainland citizens should be getting excited about. It was revealed that once Hawaii reached a vaccinated rate of 60%, it may begin allowing trans-Pacific travelers who have been vaccinated on the mainland to travel to Hawaii via the Safe Travels program, without the need for a pre-travel test. The current vaccination rate stands at 54%, which means easier access from the mainland could be with us in weeks. Proof of vaccination will be required, but more details about this change are set to be released in due course.
Current restrictions mean that travelers who were not vaccinated in the state have to quarantine for 10 days, unless they provide a negative Covid-19 test taken within 72 hours of arrival in the state. When Hawaii hits a 70% vaccination rate, all of the Safe Travel restrictions are set to be eased, though this may also be contingent on the infection and hospitalization statistics.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com