During the COVID-19 pandemic, Hawaii has had some of the most stringent rules for domestic travel, making testing and quarantine mandatory for many. But on Friday, June 4, 2021, Governor David Ige announced his plan to relax many of the COVID-19 travel restrictions. It all depends on vaccination rates and variants.
When the state reaches a 60 percent full vaccination rate, domestic travelers from the rest of the US who are fully vaccinated will be able to bypass the testing and quarantine requirements. Currently, all travelers must take a COVID-19 test 72 hours before arrival according to the state’s Safe Travels program. When the state achieves a 70 percent vaccination rate, the Safe Travels program will disappear entirely and all travel restrictions to Hawaii will be lifted.
At the time of writing, Hawaii’s vaccination rate is significantly higher than the rest of the US as a whole. Sixty percent of the population has received at least one dose of the vaccine, and 53 percent are fully vaccinated, according to Hawaii’s Department of Health. Comparatively, 51.6 percent of the US population has been vaccinated, and only 42.1 percent has been fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“The easing of travel restrictions is a direct result of our robust vaccination rate and a community that sacrificed and did what it had to do over the past year and a half to stop the spread of COVID-19. We need to push hard now so we can get to the point where Safe Travels is no longer needed to keep the people of Hawai‘i safe,” said Ige.