Traveling to Hawaii? Be Prepared to Pay
Vaccinated travelers may soon be able to travel to Hawaii without testing or quarantining, some eight months after the state instituted its stern Safe Travels program.In recent days, David Ige, Hawaii’s governor, has issued a series of guidelines regarding travel and other aspects of further reopening the state, which has had the strictest entry rules of any U.S. state since the onset of the pandemic.When Hawaii reaches a 60 percent vaccination rate, people who were vaccinated in the United States and are traveling domestically will be able to bypass testing and quarantine requirements with proof of vaccination. Starting Tuesday, quarantine and testing requirements for intercounty travel will end. And when the state reaches a 70 percent vaccination rate, all restrictions on travel will be lifted and the state’s Safe Travels program will end.As of Wednesday, 53 percent of Hawaii residents were fully vaccinated and 60 percent had received their first shot.
“As Hawaii’s public health outcomes improve and our economic situation appears to be stabilizing, I am ending several of the emergency provisions that have been in place for over a year,” said Mr. Ige in a statement on Tuesday.His words were welcomed by travelers who are eagerly planning trips to the islands at high rates (one travel adviser describes interest in visiting Hawaii as “off the charts” in recent weeks). But for the many who have recently been to the state — and locals who have traveled between the islands — the governor’s plans are coming a little too late, and after a great deal of confusion, frustration and what they say is wasted money.
ImageBougainvillea lines an empty country road in Waianae, Hawaii.Credit…Michelle Mishina Kunz for The New York Times