Hawaii officials disagree about when to drop travel testing

HONOLULU — Uncertainty remains about when Hawaii will drop its requirement for vaccinated travelers to have negative coronavirus test results so they can avoid quarantine after arriving in the state.

Hawaii Lt. Gov. Josh Green wants the state to drop the testing requirement for fully vaccinated travelers ahead of the July 4 holiday, but Gov. David Ige is reluctant.

Ige would not commit to dropping the travel tests on Monday, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported.

The Democratic governor said earlier this month that testing requirements for vaccinated domestic travelers would end once 60% of Hawaii residents are fully vaccinated. That figure has been slow to climb in recent weeks and currently stands at 57%.

“We do anticipate crossing that 60% threshold,” Ige said. “It is hard to predict exactly when that would happen because of the fact that the pace of vaccinations is actually slowing and the number of vaccines administered in the last week is significantly lower than the number of vaccines administered, for example, two weeks ago.”

But Green, who is also a Democrat, said there could be confusion and conflict if the state doesn’t drop the requirements soon.

“It’s just really important that Hawaii not get a black eye by being unclear,” Green said.

He said the state should end the requirement on July 1. If officials wait until after the holiday weekend — when Hawaii expects about 30,000 daily visitors — then “we are going to have a lot of confusion and a lot of large conflicts,” Green said.

Ige is monitoring vaccination rates and said any changes will be made early enough to give travelers and companies time to prepare for the lifting of restrictions.

All trans-Pacific travelers coming to Hawaii must currently provide negative COVID-19 test results or quarantine for 10 days upon arrival. The next phase of restrictions will allow inoculated travelers to upload their vaccination cards to avoid testing and quarantine rules.

Ige said all pandemic-related restrictions will end when 70% of residents have been vaccinated.

  1. RGLadder37 June 23, 2021 8:36 am Reply

    It is not going to reach 30,000 tourist a day. 5.4 million tourist by December’s end of 2021. Too far off. Not that busy. With testing for COVID-19, this will be impossible.

  2. RGLadder37 June 23, 2021 9:12 am Reply

    Also it all depends, if you’re a business major or MIT major. MIT would just go with a job. A business person would go with the economy.

    Not busy at all. Most people will side in on the MIT. Just a job in your field. I know several Pakistani who went to school away. One to MIT. It’s the job they want. Not economics.

    And David Ige’s choice is?

  3. I saw a Vampire once June 23, 2021 12:32 pm Reply

    Leave it until the years end. It will get worse.

    Indoors is the way to go. Quarantine for 24 hours straight is the normal. 1 month or 2 months straight. But step out side to breathe.

    This works. Then do it.

  4. truthbeknown June 23, 2021 5:58 pm Reply

    If we’re already at 57%, is it worth it to hold out for a measly 3% and frustrate the incoming tourists with a bewildering scenario of what ifs. The word is getting out now with tourists that have returned home and are sharing their frustration with their friends and relatives as to the bureaucratic nightmare we have here and they’re basically saying that going to Hawaii is not worth the hassle. Make up your mind governor Ige, do you want the tourists or should we send them all to Florida? They’re getting sick and tired of being jerked around!

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