Updated: Feb 10
New Hawaii COVID travel restrictions have been released but suggesting that only those that have had booster shots are permitted is incorrect. Here are the facts.
Travelers Do Not Need To Have a COVID Booster to Visit Hawaii
One problem with recent messaging is that as boosters will be recommended for many travelers, it is not a requirement though that’s how it is being portrayed. Here are the facts, several exemptions exist for those who may want to visit the Hawaiian islands but are not yet eligible or had not yet had a booster or even vaccination.
Governor Ige booster shot requirement was DOE. A booster shot is not required for visiting Hawaii: Third booster shot news: https://governor.hawaii.gov/newsroom/office-of-the-governor-news-release-booster-shots-will-not-be-added-to-safe-travels-hawai%CA%BBi-requirements/
Is Hawaii Shutting Down Again?
Absolutely not. The governors office has been very clear on this for some time. The Hawaii Safe Travels program has been successful and there are no plans to discontinue the program in the future.
Travelers Do Not Need to Be Vaccinated to Visit
For those who may not be vaccinated, entering the state follows the same protocol as international travel to the United States. By presenting a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of the last leg of the flight from the mainland, travelers are permitted to enter the State of Hawaii.
Children under the age of 5 do not need to present any COVID-19 vaccine/booster documentation to enter the state, those over the age of 5 will need a negative covid test within 72 hours or be fully vaccinated as described above. Vaccines were previously only available to those age 18 and up, then ages 12 and now CDC guidance has approved vaccines for ages 5 and up
Those who have not received their booster but were previously "fully vaccinated" and eligible will have to self-quarantine for a period of five days following their arrival, unless a negative covid test is presented to the Hawaii Safe Travels site.
More information and details regarding testing, children, how to register with safe travels, etc. can be found here on the Hawaii Safe Travels Covid 19 Portal - https://hawaiicovid19.com/travel/faqs/
What Should Travelers with Reservations to Hawaii do Right Now?
If you’re traveling to Hawaii in the near future, do not panic. Do not change your reservations at this moment for a few reasons.
The tourism industry in the Hawaiian islands have been harder hit than most states. Cancelling reservations now puts those businesses at risk, but it also may make reservations harder to obtain as businesses across the islands struggle with access to supplies, and staffing resources if you choose to rebook.