Hawaii governor lays foundation for vaccinated travelers to avoid quarantine
On April 9, Hawaii Gov. David Ige issued his 19th proclamation related to the COVID-19 emergency. The 72-page document outlines a variety of topics and issues, including — for the first time — the foundation for vaccinated travelers to have the opportunity to avoid the mandatory 10-day quarantine.
Under the section for exemptions to the self-quarantine (which already includes anyone with an approved negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of departure of their last leg to Hawaii) there is new language paving the way for vaccinated travelers to also skip quarantine:
"Upon the establishment of an exception by the Director of HIEMA, persons who, prior to departure to the State, upload into the State’s Safe Travels program or otherwise provide validation that they have completed a vaccine regimen approved by DOH. This third exception is not available as of the date of this Proclamation, requires action by the Director of HIEMA and details will be posted at https://hawaiicovid19.com/. Persons under the age of five accompanied by a traveler who meets existing test exceptions are not required to obtain a test prior to arrival."
This is the latest development in the seemingly ever-changing rules of visiting Hawaii. The rules also continue to change by island. Effective any day now will be an additional layer of testing upon entry into Maui. The new testing requirement, supposedly at no cost to the traveler, was supposed to take effect yesterday but may not be in place until the end of April.
Gov. Ige's latest announcement is likely welcome news to the now millions of vaccinated travelers. The current 72-hour testing requirement can be tricky depending on your travel plans. If coming from the East Coast and connecting on the West Coast to Hawaii, your test must have been completed within 72 hours of departure of your final leg to Hawaii, not the departure time of when you leave home. It must also be one of a few approved tests.
Until the newest exemption for vaccinated travelers takes place, you can make your travel to Hawaii a bit easier if you fly nonstop from 27 mainland U.S. cities.