Hawaii added 5 countries to the list of tourists allowed to take part in non-essential travel to the islands without quarantine requirements.
The Islands have been steadily lifting travel restrictions since July 8, when Gov. Ige ended pre-travel COVID testing requirements for fully vaccinated U.S. mainland travelers.
So now this benefit has been extended to visitors from Canada, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Tahiti.
The criteria to be part of this exclusive list is uncertain. While Korea, Tahiti and Taiwan have been ranked as very safe places by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Canada and Japan are flagged as countries with a high incidence of coronavirus transmission.
Whatever the case may be, foreign nationals from these countries only need to bring a negative COVID-19 PCR test to be allowed entry.
On July 12, Hawaii announced the development of CommonPass app, a joint initiative with The Commons Project, which is meant to streamline travel to Hawaii and other U.S. states by uploading the SMART Health Card to it.
Domestic travelers can request a paper or digital SMART Health Card from the health care provider that has their clinical details so they can upload it to the app, which is compatible with the state’s screening systems.
Visitors can now share their vaccine records even before traveling to Hawaii which will ensure a smoother entry to the Islands.
For now, only domestic travelers will take part in this digital initiative but it is expected that international arrivals can use it in the near future as well.
As for internal restrictions, Honolulu is currently under tier 5 restrictions. This means that there are still limitations in social gatherings and business capacity.
Gov. Ige has confirmed he will not lift the remaining restrictions until 70% of Hawaiians are vaccinated.
“We believe the 70% target is good for us,” said Ige.“We’re making good progress. Those who are not vaccinated are the most vulnerable and those who are not eligible for the vaccinations are our children.”
His plan might suffer a setback as the vaccination pace has slowed. As in other states, Hawaii seems to have reached the number of people who want to get vaccinated.
However, Authorities are confident that the herd immunity can be reached by September 2021.