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State loosens additional travel restrictions

The Safe Travels Hawaii administrator called today “a game-changer.”

Starting today, the state’s airports will exempt fully vaccinated travelers from the mainland, Alaska and U.S. territories from testing and quarantine requirements if the visitors have uploaded their COVID-19 vaccination cards from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“If the vaccination was issued within the U.S., that will now allow you to bypass quarantine without pretesting,” Sherilyn Kajiwara said Wednesday during a press conference at Daniel K. Inouye Honolulu International Airport. “So that’s really going to be a game-changer, as I know people have been having trouble finding locations to test (and) waiting for their results.

“So this will eliminate all of that.”

Kajiwara defined “fully vaccinated” as the traveler having received “both shots of your Pfizer or Moderna or your single Johnson &Johnson, and you have waited at least 15 days after your second shot — or the last shot, if it’s the J&J.”

Those who haven’t been fully vaccinated will still need to pass a COVID-19 test within 72-hours of arrival or quarantine for 10 days.

A Vaccine Administration Management System printout or certificate also is considered an acceptable alternative to a CDC vaccination card to avoid testing or quarantine, Kajiwara said. Those in the military can use the Department of Defense’s DD Form 2766C.

The vaccination or testing requirements apply to all arriving travelers in Hawaii ages 12 and up from U.S. destinations, Kajiwara said. She added that children 5-11 must pretest to sidestep the quarantine, because vaccinations are only being administered to those 12 or older.

Children younger than 5 are not subject to any requirements and are allowed to travel freely with their families.

Travelers who are not vaccinated for any reason “still have the option to test negative to avoid quarantine,” Kajiwara said.

Arriving travelers who want to avoid both testing and quarantine must carry proof of vaccination with them, even if they have uploaded their card into the Hawaii Safe Travels website or app. Kajiwara said it’s acceptable for those who don’t want to carry the card itself to take a photo of the CDC card, VAMS certificate or printout, or DD Form 2766C and keep it on their phone.

“We want people to know that you still need to open a travel account in Hawaii Safe Travels. You still need to create your trip (record) for your last leg of travel from the continental U.S. or U.S. territories or Alaska to Hawaii, and you still have the option of uploading your negative test result, or now uploading your vaccination card,” Kajiwara said. “We do ask for both of those, uploaded — that is a requirement — and carry a hard copy on arrival with you for screening. That is required, as well.

“… Once you clear travel with your vaccination card for the first time, that card will be held for all future trips from that point on. You don’t have to upload it again.”

Demand for travel to Hawaii has been robust. According to the Hawaii Tourism Authority, there were more than 35,000 trans-Pacific arrivals at Hawaii’s airports each day on July, 1, 2 and 3, prior to the Independence Day holiday.

There were 32,418 trans-Pacific arrivals on Wednesday, with 3,643 touching down at the Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport in Keahole and 181 at Hilo International Airport.

Email John Burnett at jburnett@hawaiitribune-herald.com.
Source: Hawaii Tribune Herald

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