Hawaii Drops COVID-19 Restrictions for Inter-Island Travel
Today the state of Hawaii officially ended all COVID-19 testing or proof of vaccination for those traveling between the Hawaiian islands. Those arriving in the state from the mainland United States or internationally will still need to adhere to the Safe Travels Hawaii program which outlines the health and safety protocols individuals must follow upon arrival in the state, but those restrictions are waived for the fully vaccinated.
Nearly 70% of Hawaiian citizens have been vaccinated against COVID-19, putting it in the top ten of all fifty states. Governor David Ige announced that when the state does reach the 70% threshold, all restrictions on travel will be lifted.
Overall, the state did well preventing the spread of the virus over the past year and a half. Only around 35,000 contracted the virus in the state while places like Florida, Texas and California saw that many new infections and more in a single day at various points over the past 12 months.
Safe Travels Hawaii Program Requirements
If you’ve been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and have proof, travelers can bypass quarantine without a pre-travel test. The vaccination record document must be uploaded to the Safe Travels website or printed out prior to departure and hard copy in hand when arriving in the state.
If you want to use the pre-travel test to bypass quarantine, you still need a negative result from a test taken no more than 72 hours prior to travel. Anyone without a negative test result before their travel date must quarantine for a period of 10 days upon arrival.
When Will Cruising Return to Hawaii?
Hawaii has long been a popular destination for cruisers but there’s no timeline for when cruise lines will be operational in the state once again.
In fact, the only U.S.-registered cruise ship, Norwegian Cruise Line’s Pride of America, homeports in the state capital of Honolulu. While all other cruise lines register their ships overseas, Pride of America is subject to American labor laws so most of the crew are American citizens. The ship also does not have a casino because it doesn’t leave U.S. waters and can only call on American ports.
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In an article on May 23, 2021, the Hawaii Tribune-Herald quoted an NCL spokesperson as saying “The CDC recently provided modifications to previously issued technical guidance under the Framework for Conditional Sailing Order. We continue to work with the CDC to establish an agreeable path to the safe resumption of cruising in the U.S. while protecting guests, crew and the communities we visit.”