Hawaii may soon require travelers to have a Covid reminder

By Lilit Marcus, CNN

Hawaii will likely soon require visitors to get a Covid shot if they want to travel to the islands.

State Governor David Ige told reporters his office was strongly considering changing its definition of “fully vaccinated” from two doses of an approved Covid vaccine to three.

This would mean that travelers who have not received reminders will have to self-isolate for five days upon arrival in Hawaii at their own expense.

Currently, only US travelers can visit Hawaii with very few exceptions for international tourists. Tourism is regulated by the state’s Safe Travels program, where people can upload their vaccination records to the online portal before their flight.

“We know the community needs time to react to this, so we should allow at least two weeks for those who may not be up to date to have the opportunity to go and get their shots if they need it. Ige told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, the state’s largest newspaper.

He further clarified that the reminder requirement or any other rule change would give travelers and members of the hotel community several weeks notice, so those who have already booked trips will not yet be subject to the updated requirement.

Ige also said he was in touch with local hotel partners around the islands about the possibility of requiring booster shots for people attending public events and gatherings, but there is no no such rules in place yet.

The CDC has no guidance on whether booster shots should be required for international or domestic travel.

However, some countries and territories have started mandating a third dose of a Covid vaccine for their residents and/or visitors.

The city-state of Singapore is one of them. In early January, Singapore’s health minister announced that adult citizens who had passed more than 270 days since their second dose of the vaccine would need a booster to be considered “fully immunized” by the country’s standards.

Hawaii has had a relatively low number of coronavirus cases since the pandemic began.

As of January 2022, the state had reported 166,008 cases and just 1,123 deaths. About 75% of eligible adults have received two injections of an approved vaccine.

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