For those who have already received the COVID-19 vaccination or expect to in the coming weeks and months, traveling to Hawaii should be fairly straightforward come spring.
At the end of January, the idea of a separate program for travelers who have been vaccinated was publicly discussed in detail for the first time.
At that time, the reports were that the program would hope to launch for travelers already in Hawaii as soon as this month, and for mainland travelers sometime in April or May.
Now, according to Hawaii News Now, the State is close to launching the “Vaccine Passport” program for local travelers and have set an unofficial deadline for mainland travel. Here’s what you need to know:
Essential workers will be the first to use the program, with a target date of March 1st.
The hope is that by the end of February, the State will have the system in place to allow vaccinated essential workers to travel throughout the islands without pre-arrival testing or quarantine.
Local travelers would come next, with a target start date of targeting April 1st.
Vaccinated locals and travelers already in Hawaii who have received the vaccine would be allowed to travel throughout the state without a pre-arrival test or any quarantine restrictions.
Travelers would receive an electronic code from the State upon submitting their paperwork. The code would allow them to travel without regulations. Currently, they need to take a pre-arrival test or self-quarantine when traveling between islands.
The final component of the program will cover travel from the mainland to Hawaii. It is shooting for a May 1st start date.
Finally, vaccinated travelers arriving from the mainland would be able to partake in the program, without the need for a pre-arrival test or any form of quarantine. Lawmakers hope that by May, enough ducks will be in a row to feel confident about its effectiveness on a large scale.
It’s a work in progress, so be patient.
Obviously, things are still fluid. Public health data could force officials to change directions (as it has in the past), or legislative realities could push back the projected start dates.
But for now, it looks like Hawaii is on track to launch its Vaccine Passport program in its entirely by this spring.