HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Seeking to jump-start Hawaii’s travel industry and ease some restrictions, the state is reportedly nearing a system for vaccinated individuals to travel to and within Hawaii, quarantine-free.
The so-called Vaccine Passport will allow travelers who have already been fully vaccinated to skip Hawaii’s quarantine requirements.
Lt. Gov. Josh Green said the program will likely start with vaccinated essential workers within the state, with other members of the general public to follow.
Green says he hopes the program will include mainland travel by May 1.
He said vaccinated travelers will get an electronic code that allows them to travel inter-island. The program could start as soon as March 1.
Green said the governor’s latest emergency proclamation allowed for work on this system to begin.
“General Hara will be able to flip the switch and open that up and make that our policy as soon as we have some of the infrastructure in place,” Lt. Gov. Green said. “We’re hopeful that April 1 for all of our state individuals any citizen that has been vaccinated plus two weeks to fly inter-island.
“This is the way we restore our economy very quickly,” Green added. “We would likely see a huge uptick in visitors by say the fall this way.”
Based on that timeline, the state hopes the number of daily visitors to Hawaii would triple by the fall, to about 22,000 a day.
So far, Hawaii has administered more than 260,000 vaccine doses. He estimates that by the potential start date of the program, more than 400,000 Hawaii residents would be fully vaccinated.
“I think that’s the right time table and then international travel sometime thereafter cause we don’t want to let strains into our society,” Green said.