As the Covid-19 situation continues to improve in the U.S. some states are already working on recovering their shattered tourism sectors. Alaska has announced that all U.S. travelers will no longer require proof of a negative Covid-19 test while Hawaii is planning a new program that will allow for vaccinated American travelers to skip entry requirements. Here is everything travelers need to know about the two positive announcements.
Hawaii Plans To Allow All Vaccinated Americans By May
Hawaii is in the planning stages of a new program that will allow for vaccinated American travelers to enter and travel within the state without having to quarantine upon arrival.
The main goal of the program is to allow all Americans that have been vaccinated to be able enter by May 1st, 2021 without the quarantine entry requirement.
Before that happens, Hawaii will be working within its own borders first to test the program.
Lt. Gov. Josh Green said the program will start with vaccinated essential workers within the state and then expand to the general public shortly after. By March 1st, vaccinated essential workers in Hawaii will be able to travel inter-island without restriction.
By April 1st, it’s expected all Hawaii residents will be able to travel inter-island within the state without any quarantine restrictions. Finally by May, Hawaii will open its borders without restrictions for all mainland travelers. While this is a tentative plan, Green was optimistic it would move forward.
The new plan will give vaccinated travelers an electronic code that allows them to travel inter-island starting March 1st. Travelers will also be required to wait two weeks after receiving their second shot before traveling.
“General Hara will be able to flip the switch and make that our policy as soon as we have some of the infrastructure in place,” Lt. Gov. Green said reported Hawaii News Now. “We’re hopeful that April 1 for all of our state individuals that has been vaccinated plus two weeks to fly inter-island.”
Green added that they hope to see an additional 22,000 visitors per day by the fall which would be triple what they are receiving now.
While he was confident regarding the timeline for Americans, he stated that allowing vaccinated international travelers to skip quarantine could take longer. “I think that’s the right time table and then international travel sometime thereafter cause we don’t want to let strains into our society,” Green stated.
Alaska Drops Testing Requirement For U.S. Travelers
Alaska will no longer require domestic travelers to show proof of a negative Covid-19 test upon entry, Governor Mike Dunleavy announced this week. The Governor reported that the Covid-19 situation was continuing to improve and that he would not renew Alaska’s emergency order.
“From what we can see with each passing day, with more folks getting a vaccination, every day that goes by, we’re going to get closer, and closer, and closer to getting back to normal,” Dunleavy said at a news conference.
“My administration will begin moving Alaska, its economy and our lives forward through this transition and recovery process,” he said. “Make no mistake about it, the virus may be with us for some time. But the data shows that the worst is most likely behind us.”
Free Voluntary Testing At Alaska’s Airports
Tests will still be available at Alaska’s airports for all travelers who would like to be tested. Effective immediately, the voluntary tests will be free for all U.S. travelers. Prior to the announcement, tests cost $250 for out of state travelers.
The state of Alaska is still recommending face masks and social distancing but other than Anchorage, a mandatory order has never been in place.
Alaska 2021 Cruise Season Could Be Cancelled
With Canada’s recent announcement to ban all cruise ships until February of 2022, Alaska’s 2021 cruise season could be in jeopardy before it even starts. Most Alaska cruises depart from Vancouver and sail through Canadian waters which has left many cruise lines scrambling for a workaround.
Royal Caribbean recently announced that it would not cancel its Alaska cruises despite the Canadian ban. The company is currently in talks with the Canadian government to come up with a solution for the problem.
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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