Hawaii working to slot in a vaccine passport

 Monday, April 19, 2021

For fully vaccinated travelers, destinations like Barbados are all set to start working on introducing alternate entry guidelines. In the U.S., Hawaii has the most restrictive entry requirements for visitors. But it’s the first state to consider such an innovative plan.

But buoyed by the announcement of CDC in April 2020, declaring that it was secure for the fully vaccinated travelers to travel, state officials said they are working to slot in a vaccine passport into the existing Safe Travels testing and screening program.

Under the preexisting current Safe Travels program of Hawaii, everyone over the age of 5 years entering into the state, whether or not they have been vaccinated for Covid-19, must show a proof of negative Covid-19 test taken within 72 hours of their departure. Upon receiving such document, an exemption will be provided from 10-day quarantine.

Clear, CommonPass and First Vitals are the 3 companies Hawaii is working with to build up a system integrated with the Safe Travels program that would act in verifying vaccination records as well.

Travelers with proof of vaccination against Covid-19 would be allowed to enter Hawaii without testing or quarantine, once it gets operational.

Around May 1st, Hawaii is expecting to roll out the system for the first time for interisland travel and then expand to out-of-state travelers later.

As Hawaii was working on a vaccine passport system before the announcement of CDC, Lt. Gov. Josh Green explained that the new federal rule provides more impetus to get Safe Travels much bigger to include vaccinated travelers.

“It can be a game-changer for Hawaii,” Green said. “We’ve already seen a large uptick in travel numbers. We have the [lowest] Covid-19 infection rates in the country, and I think a lot of people are deciding it’s time for a trip to Hawaii.

“A vaccine passport program will have an enormous impact, and I’m pushing the governor and team hard to accept the program. We need to have this in place before summer travel so it’s all buttoned up for everyone interested in coming.”


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