Hawaii is looking to welcome fully vaccinated travelers in the coming months, working on a potential vaccine passport that would allow vaccinated visitors to enter without a quarantine.
The program could start as early as March 1 and would likely kick off with in-state essential workers who received the full dose of a vaccine, according to Hawaii News Now. It would allow the Aloha state to ramp up tourism by making it easier for certain travelers to enter.
Fully vaccinated travelers would get an electronic code that would grant them access to travel throughout the state, Lt. Gov. Josh Green told the outlet this week.
“We’re hopeful that [by] April 1 for all of our state individuals any citizen that has been vaccinated plus two weeks to fly inter-island,” Green said, adding the program could potentially be expanded to mainland travelers by May 1.
“This is the way we restore our economy very quickly,” he said. “We would likely see a huge uptick in visitors by say the fall this way.”
Currently, Hawaii allows visitors to skip the state’s mandatory quarantine if they arrive with proof of a negative COVID-19 test from a certified laboratory taken within 72 hours.
Several airlines, including United Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, and American Airlines have introduced pre-flight testing programs for vacationing passengers. And starting Thursday, travelers on select Delta and United flights from Los Angeles to Honolulu will be able to register their negative test results through Clear’s Health Pass app.
While most Hawaiian islands are participating in the state’s pre-arrival testing program, the island of Kauai has instead opted for stricter protocols, requiring visitors to test negative with a pre-travel test, stay at an approved “resort bubble” property, and then test negative for a second time more than 72 hours after arriving.
With this vaccine passport program, Hawaii would join a growing list of countries and cities exploring the concept, including Iceland, Denmark, and Phuket. Additionally, several countries, including the Seychelles and Georgia (the country, not the state), have already started welcoming fully vaccinated travelers to their shores.