New Hawaii vaccine pass allows vaccinated residents to travel between islands

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(NEW YORK) — Starting this week, fully vaccinated Hawaii residents can skip COVID-19 testing and quarantine requirements when flying between the islands.

According to the new rules, which Gov. David Ige announced last month, Hawaii residents who were vaccinated in the state are exempt from testing and quarantine on the 15th day after their final vaccine shot.

To participate in the inter-county travel program, island residents will need to provide their Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vaccination record card, as well as register with Hawaii’s “Safe Travels” program and affirm they are fully vaccinated, to get a digital record card.

Travelers under the age of 5 can bypass the requirements, as long as they are on the same travel itinerary as a fully vaccinated parent or guardian.

The new rules went into effect Monday.

For now, only state residents are eligible for the program, and visitors will still have to either test negative for COVID-19 before flying or quarantine for 10 days when traveling between islands. Ige said the state is hoping to troubleshoot the process before rolling it out to out-of-state Americans as early as this summer and international visitors later this year.

“It will allow us to validate the screening process necessary, and I think most importantly, learn about what kinds of bottlenecks and delays it may inject into our screening process for inter-island travel,” Ige told reporters last month.

As of Tuesday, 41% of the population in Hawaii was fully vaccinated and 59% had received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Hawaii is the second state after New York to issue a vaccination verification certification for state residents.

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