Major changes for travel to Hawaii; Big news for kids



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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new details from the Hawaii governor’s office. It was originally published on June 24, 2021.

The Hawaii governor’s office confirming to TPG late Thursday July 1, 2021 that the state’s testing and quarantine requirements are coming to an end as of next Thursday for fully vaccinated adults.

In perhaps the biggest update, the governor’s office say kids under five will no longer need to be tested prior to arrival. Kids aged five to 16 (who can’t yet get vaccines) will still need to test to skip quarantine.

The office of Hawaii Gov. David Ige saying the governor, “.. has announced the State of Hawai‘i’s vaccination exception program for domestic, Hawai‘i-bound travelers vaccinated in the United States or U.S Territories… allows these travelers to bypass the state’s quarantine requirement with proof of vaccination starting on Thursday, July 8, 2021.” 

That’s good news for those who want to visit Hawaii but have been put off by the stringent testing requirements. As of July 8, if you are vaccinated, you will no longer be required to get a test prior to visiting Hawaii. You will also not have to quarantine.

Ige’s office said, “Children under 5 years old are not required to test and will not be quarantined if traveling with an adult who has a pre-travel test exception or a vaccination exception. Children 5 years and older who have not been vaccinated must participate in the Pre-Travel Testing Program and test with a Trusted Testing Partner to bypass the mandatory 10-day quarantine.”

Hawaii Gov. David Ige originally announcing the July 8 dates at a press conference June 24 in Honolulu, but formalizing it tonight and unveiling more details.

It’s a major change to the sometimes confusing process of visiting Hawaii via its Safe Travels program.

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Visitors to Hawaii will still need to take the following steps (from the State of Hawaii):

  • Upload one of three vaccination documents to their Safe Travels Hawai‘i account, prior to traveling to Hawai‘i. One of the following documents must be uploaded:
    • A CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card
    • VAMS (Vaccination Administration Management System) printout OR
    • DOD DD Form 2766C
  • Sign the online legal attestations on Safe Travels Hawaiʻi, confirming the uploaded documentation is true and accurate.
  • Bring a hard copy of their vaccination documentation to show screeners at the gate prior to boarding and/or upon arrival in Hawai‘i. Screeners will review/verify the vaccination documents, match photo IDs, name and DOB as well as confirm that the attestations are signed.

Hawaii says their “digital platform is now allowing vaccine document uploads for trips arriving in Hawaiʻi on July 8 and beyond.”

Video: Hawaii to Waive Testing Requirements for Fully Vaccinated U.S. Travelers (Travel + Leisure)

Hawaii to Waive Testing Requirements for Fully Vaccinated U.S. Travelers

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The state is also easing restrictions on gatherings and restaurants as the state is betting it will reach a 60% vaccination rate in the next few weeks. That should help with overcrowding and ease the problem some tourists have found of not being able to get dinner reservations or see some attractions.

Related: Fair warning, Hawaii is crowded again

Gov. Ige said, “The case counts are coming down. People are getting vaccinated. And there are fewer and fewer people who are at risk of becoming infected.”

He also said all COVID-19 restrictions would be lifted once the state reaches a vaccination rate of 70%. Right now, masks are still required indoors, but not outdoors.

As of July 8, 2021:

  • Hawaii restaurants can go to 75% capacity
  • Indoor events can have up to 25 people
  • Outdoor events can have parties as large as 75

The governor cautioned that restrictions could be put back into place if there is a spike in cases or if there is evidence of new, more dangerous variants of COVID-19 spreading.

Related: I spent 3 days quarantining in Kauai’s resort bubble

If you are going before July 8, we’ve covered the full run-down of what you need to know prior to visiting Hawaii.

Featured image of Honolulu showing Hawaii’s Diamond Head by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy.

   

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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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