After screening more than 12M passengers, Hawaii lifts all restrictions for mainland arrivals

The state's Safe Travels program ended at 11:59 p.m. Friday.
Published: Mar. 26, 2022 at 6:59 PM HST|Updated: Mar. 27, 2022 at 8:35 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - With the Safe Travels program ended, mainland arrivals came into the islands Saturday without having to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test.

For some, it was further proof that the pandemic is nearing an end.

For others, it was a little too soon.

“I think for the safety of everyone - maybe we should keep it in place,” said resident Kardeen Wong.

Wong landed Saturday morning, and she’s happy to be home but worries that we’re moving to fast.

“It was easier,” she said. “But I don’t know how much safer it is.”

Other Hawaii families say it’s about time.

“It was very easy. It was a simple process,” said Yvette Nii. “I mean, we didn’t have any interruption when we got off the plane. Everybody had that aloha spirit. It was really seamless.”

Meanwhile, many out-of-state visitors who landed Saturday weren’t even aware of the change.

“We were prepared either way,” said Arizona visitor Felicia Padilla. “So it was no issue.”

Sheri Kajiwara, who oversaw Safe Travels for the state, is confident that it’s time for Hawaii to move forward. Since its inception, Safe travels has screened more than 12 million incoming passengers.

“It’s been 24/7, whenever flights come in we have been here to make sure that we maintain the integrity of the program,” Kajiwara said.

“But our goal was to make ourselves obsolete. We wanted this program to end and so we see today as a success for our team.”

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