Gov. David Ige speaks at a press conference about inter-county travel. The program allows vaccinated travelers to bypass the mandatory 10-day quarantine. PC: Office of Gov. Ige.

Beginning May 11, fully vaccinated travelers who received their vaccine in Hawaiʻi may travel inter-county (Kauaʻi, Maui, and Hawaiʻi) without having to take a pre-travel test or quarantining for 10 days. The City and County of Honolulu does not have an interisland travel quarantine order. The announcement was made by Gov. David Ige during an afternoon press briefing.

Maj. Gen. Kenneth Hara, who also participated in the briefing noted that people are fully vaccinated on the 15th day following their final vaccine dose. Travelers will need to create a Safe Travels Hawaiʻi account and check county websites for additional requirements.

Those who aren’t vaccinated may bypass quarantine if they get a negative COVID-19 test result from a trusted travel partner under the current Safe Travels program.

“Our state has been doing well in keeping our COVID-19 cases steady and our hospitalizations low, and we are ready to take this next step. I know how important it is to residents to be able to travel to see their friends and family on other islands, and this provides another way for them to be able to do that, safely,” said Gov. Ige.

State officials say Hawaiʻi is one of the first locations to implement a vaccine protocol program, with an operational Excelsior Pass vaccine passport program currently in place in New York.

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Both Gov. Ige and Lt. Gov. Josh Green touted the state’s infection and mortality rates as being among the lowest in the nation. Gov. Ige said it’s because of collective actions that the state is able to reduce travel restrictions.

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The state plans to begin with inter-county travel because they are able to verify vaccination status for those who have been vaccinated here in the islands. “This phased approach will allow us to validate the screening process and learn what kinds of bottlenecks and delays that it will inject into our screening process for inter-island travel,” said Gov. Ige, noting that the state will continue to monitor infection rates, and continued to stress that the number one priority is to protect the health and well being of Hawaiʻi’s citizens.

Since vaccinations are currently only offered to individuals ages 16 and older; and kids age 5 and under do not have to pretest–those in the gap between age 5 and 16 will still have access to the state’s Safe Travels program if they want to get a test to avoid quarantine when traveling in Hawaiʻi.

Gov. Ige said the state is conducting pilot tests with Common Pass and Clear in an effort to verify vaccination status for those vaccinated in other states. He said he anticipates expanding the vaccine travel protocol program to mainland visitors in the summer, but expansion is dependent on how quickly the companies can connect with other networks and gain access for