Interisland vaccine exemption for travel scheduled for May 11 | News, Sports, Jobs
Travelers who have been fully vaccinated in Hawaii will be able to bypass testing and quarantine when moving between counties starting May 11, Governor David Ige said on Tuesday.
“We have made the decision to start with an inter-country travel program for people vaccinated in the state of Hawaii because we are able to verify the information,” Ige said in a press release. “This phased approach will allow us to assess the impacts of the program on our pre-departure document verification program screening procedures. Most importantly, we will be able to assess any impact on our virus transmission rates and our healthcare facilities. “
A person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving their last dose and could travel with the exemption on day 15, said Maj. Gen. Kenneth Hara, director of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, during ‘a press conference Tuesday with Ige, Lt. Gov. Josh Green and the mayors of Maui, Hawaii and Kauai counties.
Since Honolulu County does not require pre-travel testing or a 10-day quarantine for inter-island travelers, the vaccination exemption will only apply to travel to neighboring islands. Travelers who arrive before they are fully immunized will need to observe the mandatory 10-day quarantine unless they are eligible for other exceptions, such as pre-travel testing and being an essential worker.
Even with a consistently high daily case count in Oahu and Maui, officials said it was “It’s time to open up a little more.”
“We are getting better at what we do, when it comes to our people, and I think they feel it’s time to open up a bit more, especially visiting family, friends, who have waited so long to see each other and I mean in person, “ Mayor Michael Victorino said at a joint press conference with Ige and other mayors from the neighboring island.
Maui County is averaging 18 new cases per day and a high test positivity rate of 2.4% on a seven-day moving average, although average daily cases have been on the decline over the past two weeks , according to the State Department of Health Data.
Once the new program launches on May 11, fully vaccinated travelers will still need to enter information on the Safe Travels online platform to claim that they are fully vaccinated and that their Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID vaccination record. -19 is not fraudulent, Said Hara.
Travelers will need to upload a photo or PDF of their vaccination card or vaccine delivery management system (VAMS) printout along with their vaccination record. They will then receive a QR code.
Travelers should bring a digital image along with the original vaccination record in case they need to show it to airport screening officers.
Those who do not have their COVID-19 vaccination card or VAMS printout should return to their vaccine supplier for the CDC card, according to the governor’s office. Cards issued by the state or territory’s Department of Health will not be accepted.
The Safe Travels platform will begin receiving vaccine information on the morning of May 7, although that is only for travel from May 11, Hara added.
Initially, the system will not validate vaccination cards, which will be checked manually by controllers, Hara said.
Victorino said that “We expect challenges” as the vaccination exemption program rolls out and the Kahului airport “to reinforce” screening staff in the first few weeks of launch. He asked the audience to be patient but added: “I have no doubts that we will get there fairly quickly.”
The rules for young travelers will vary:
• Travelers aged 5 and under can bypass quarantine requirements, provided they are traveling on the same itinerary as a parent or guardian who has passed vaccination verification requirements.
• Travelers over 5 who are not yet eligible for a vaccine can participate in the pre-trip testing program and meet county testing requirements if they request an exemption from mandatory quarantine requirements.
• Travelers aged 16 and 17 who are fully immunized should meet adult immunization verification requirements.
Ige and Green said they would monitor the inter-island program first before opening it up to trans-Pacific and international travelers. The governor’s office said the vaccine exemption for transpacific travel could begin this summer, with exemptions for international travelers later in the year.
Green said state officials will also be looking at cases and variants of COVID-19 in the United States and around the world, and that these issues could also affect Hawaii’s decision to expand the travel program of vaccination.
“There is a lot at stake here,” Green said.
But overall, Green said, the state sees the “The beginning of the end” of the pandemic.
“That’s why good things are happening” he added.
He said Hawaii could achieve herd immunity by having the majority of the population vaccinated by July 4.
* Melissa Tanji can be contacted at [email protected]