Travelers planning trips to Hawaii in the coming months have been handed a boost, after it was revealed that those who have received their Covid-19 booster shots would not need to test before entry or go into quarantine upon arrival. Traditionally a popular destination with American travelers, Hawaii’s strict entry rules and restrictions have been a significant factor in the drop in traveler numbers to the islands – though the latest change could see this trend reversed.
The announcement sees Hawaii join a rapidly expanding list of worldwide travel hotspots that are lowering their entrance requirements for boosted travelers, as destinations continue to do all they can to get back to pre-pandemic travel levels in the safest possible way. Here’s a look at the latest developments in Hawaii’s restriction-cutting measures, plus a recap of The Aloha State’s current entry requirements for those planning to visit soon.
Hawaii Cuts Requirements – What Travelers Should Know
As the Covid-19 virus continues to mutate, and as more people continue to take booster shots to keep them better protected against the virus, the definition of the term “fully vaccinated” has all but changed its meaning. That’s the approach that a growing number of travel destinations are taking, with boosted travelers benefiting from reduced entry requirements and restrictions, and Hawaii looks set to join them in the coming few days.
The upcoming changes to the state’s restrictions were reaffirmed by Hawaii’s Governor David Ige during the week. Governor Ige stated that a booster shot would soon become mandatory for travelers visiting the state, but was non-committal on when the change would take place. “I don’t have a specific date to let you know at this point, but we do expect to be able to announce that in the next few days,” the Governor said, before adding that there would be a grace period for those with trips coming up in the immediate future.
As well as helping to keep those in Hawaii better protected against Covid-19, Hawaii’s policy updates regarding booster jabs will see mandatory quarantine and pre-travel testing requirements scrapped for boosted travelers – potentially saving travelers hundreds of dollars would be better spent on the islands and making Hawaii a much more attractive proposition for travelers overall.
The holdup regarding the formal changing of entry requirements is due to the lengthy admin involved in updating the Safe Travels platform to accept the third vaccination. However, once the updates have been made, the Governor explained that he believed the updated platform would essentially be similar to the one that precedes it – just with an added step.
Despite the new requirements not yet going live, some areas of Hawaii are already requiring a booster to visit. The island of Maui – the second largest of the Hawaiian islands – will need a booster dose in order to be considered fully vaccinated. This means that boosters will be needed on the island in order to dine indoors, visit bars, and even exercise at a gym.
In order to avoid quarantine when traveling to Hawaii at present, US citizens visit from a domestic location must have proof that they are either fully vaccinated against Covid-19 or that they have a negative test result taken up to 72 hours before the final leg of their journey.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com