Hawai‘i to loosen travel restrictions July 8

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Jade Dumbrique, right, checks with Koa Kubera, the Target’s Human Resources manager for the T3400 Lihu‘e store, about opportunities, Saturday when Kubera manned a Target hiring table at the Kukui Grove Center food court.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Jeffrey Gambeng, the McDonald’s Lihu‘e general manager, mans the Drive Up Hiring Day tent, Saturday. McDonald’s also set up a Drive Up Hiring Day station at the Waipouli restaurant.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island file

    A Hawaiian Airlines flight makes its final descent to the Lihu‘e Airport over Bonjolea II, one of the yachts participating in a Nawiliwili Yacht Club shoreline series race at Nawiliwili Harbor, June 17.

LIHU‘E — Starting Thursday, July 8, vaccinated travelers from the United States and its territories into Hawai‘i may bypass quarantine measures with proof of their inoculation.

Gov. David Ige made the announcement Thursday in anticipation that in about two weeks’ time, the state will hit a 60% fully vaccinated population. As of yesterday, the state’s Department of Health has reported a 57% vaccination rate, with 62% of the population having received one of two doses.

Ige said he’d been working with county mayors for the past several weeks to incorporate vaccination rates into the state’s restriction tier system and strike a balance between public health safety and economic recovery.

“The vaccination rates have risen, and we’ve worked closely together to implement the policy changes that protect public health, reenergize the economy and sustain our communities,” Ige said at a Honolulu press conference. “Hawai‘i is nearing 60% fully vaccinated rate. We do expect to reach this mark on or about July 8, that’s two weeks from (Thursday). That means we can safely relax some of the travel and social restrictions currently in place.”

The state will also up its social gathering limits from 10 indoors to 25, and 25 outdoors to 75. Restaurants and bars will also be allowed to operate at 75% capacity on this date.

For Kaua‘i, that also means a shift into Tier 5, which is defined by the same social gathering limits.

The coveted 70% herd immunity goal is still what the state needs to hit before all COVID-19 restrictions will be lifted and the Safe Travels platform will become obsolete.

“Dealing with an ongoing disaster and challenge is an operation of art and science,” Mayor Derek Kawakami said, thanking Ige for giving a two-week notice to help restaurants and businesses prepare. “This gives them good predictability and lead time to make these adjustments.”

Kaua‘i has the highest unemployment rate in the state.

According to a state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations report earlier this week, the county has an 11.3%, not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate compared to 7.5% across the state.

Despite this, many businesses are having a difficult time recruiting employees, leading to hiring drives from places like McDonald’s, Pizza Hut and others.

Travelers will need to enter their vaccination records into the Safe Travels system, and bring a hardcopy of the record to Hawai‘i.

“I know that this change has been widely anticipated and it will make it easier for residents to return home and for visitors to come and enjoy our islands,” Ige said.

Those traveling before July 8 are still required to participate in Safe Travels and are subject to state mandates.

22 Comments
  1. Mac Farlane June 25, 2021 5:19 am Reply

    I have been following this welcome development, but am puzzled as to why Hawaii residents can travel to/from Hawaii if fully vaccinated in Hawaii, but mainland fully vaccinated travelers cannot travel. What is the difference if both are fully vaccinated?


    1. Kama'aina June 26, 2021 11:57 am Reply

      There is no difference because the vaccine does not stop anyone from contracting or spreading covid. It is all just a money grab my big pharm and tech with support promised to local government as a carrot to chase. Follow the money and look at the empty icu beds to see what is really going on.


  2. I saw a Vampire once June 25, 2021 7:46 am Reply

    That is 5.4 million tourist. By the end of 2021. 30,000 tourist a day. Some of them coming to Kauai.

    I don’t see Kauai being this busy. “Flake is politics.”

    I am not for past glory in politics. I don’t care if the island rots with less tourism. I don’t need the mayor. Or past mayors of Kauai.

    Something to think about.


  3. I saw a Vampire once June 25, 2021 7:57 am Reply

    If Kauai reaches 3 million tourist by the end of 2021, make sure you tell Derek Kawakami to shoot himself.

    This accounts for 15,000 or more tourist at Lihue airports per day by the end every day and until 2021 ends.

    What is he going to do? Live off the taxes that the county collects? And for him to eat and make a living off of?

    You have got to be kidding me, “flakes”?

    I am for Kauai. You can tell the mayor now, go straight to hell if he does this.


  4. nothings free June 25, 2021 7:59 am Reply

    What a bunch of idiots blindly morphing into Nazi’s! “Show me your health record or you will be punished by the Government”? REALLY! This is not only Unconstitutional, it’s a canary in the coal mine for the total depravity, naivety, and lack of intelligence of those in Government who’re making these draconian, freedom destroying decisions! I can’t wait for the law suits to fly and the Supreme Court to hear this case!


  5. Billy June 25, 2021 8:20 am Reply

    This is another way to enforce a vaccine passport and it is wrong. Making people get the experimental jab just to travel to another state is very unconstitutional. Will the state of Hawaii cover my medical bills if I developed any side effects after getting the jab 2, 3, 5, and so on years down the road. Cause I know I can’t sue the vaccine company for any damages.


    1. Jade June 26, 2021 7:32 am Reply

      Billy, I suggest you get a copy of the Constitution. And read it.


  6. Kama'aina June 25, 2021 8:37 am Reply

    So we are going to allow potentially infected travelers in to Hawaii without testing as long as they have papers proving they have had the vac? 4000 fully vaccinated people tested positive for Covid-19 in Massachusetts a few days ago. Making them spreaders. If we are going to open up then open up. Don’t play like we are putting health first when we are clearly not. Pick a lane. The science shows that the vacs is helpful in minimizing the harmful effects of covid but it does not stop anyone from getting it. Why is this not talked about here if it is such a dangerous virus?


  7. RGLadder37 June 25, 2021 9:02 am Reply

    This idea of CIP is easy. I’m a Pakistani. My friend graduated from MIT. How many people does Derek Know who owns Walmart? No one there he knows. Then that is not where he is getting the money from. Some other place. County taxes. That’s CIP.

    That would be zero income if he has no references in County affairs and CIP.

    Too easy to figure out.


  8. randy kansas June 25, 2021 10:51 am Reply

    when are we going to impose the same rules, on the workers at Safeway, Costco, Walmart and Home Depot ?? ……Post office too, since they touch all of our mail…


    1. Mark June 26, 2021 7:53 am Reply

      You’re afraid of getting COVID from your mail?

      Maybe you should just become a cave-dwelling hermit, then you can avoid all human contact and be safe from COVID.


      1. Marla Shea June 27, 2021 10:18 pm Reply

        Best comment so far!


  9. jojo June 25, 2021 1:04 pm Reply

    so does this mean mainland travelers do not need to do a pre-travel covid test to come to Hawaii? article fails to mention this…..


  10. RGLadder37 June 25, 2021 3:44 pm Reply

    18 people. If you’re McDonalds restaurant seating at most 25 people in the dine in area.

    Less than 6ft apart already.


  11. RGLadder37 June 25, 2021 7:30 pm Reply

    Not making it happen are these politician pop culture puts into office.

    Ron Kouchi
    Mason Chock
    Bernard p. Carvalho jr
    Billy Decosta
    Mufi Hannemann
    Angie T
    Rich Hill: uh baseball coach
    Aloha stadium and HTA leaders
    Few town leaders who vote for sports

    Truth is here

    Want to hear more?


  12. Paul Halpert June 25, 2021 8:52 pm Reply

    Concerned about Kauai rental cars, costs and safety. Thanks


  13. Hirondelle June 26, 2021 5:33 am Reply

    Don’t want to wear a seat belt? Don’t drive a car. Don’t want to wear a mask in the OR? Don’t be a surgeon. Don’t want to do without smoking for a few hours? Don’t get on a plane. Don’t want to remain faithful in marriage? Skip taking that vow. Don’t want to wear a construction helmet? Stay out of the work site. Don’t want to wear a mask in a private business that requires it? Shop or dine some place else.

    We face choices every day. Many will even say, “If you don’t like X/Y/Z, leave the country.”

    Don’t want to be vaccinated? Don’t try to come to Hawaii or any other place that requires it. Skip the cries about “Nazis” and “freedom”. Make your choice.


    1. therealhawaiian June 26, 2021 11:26 pm Reply

      Boy, are you out to lunch! Russia, Venezuela, and China would be great places for you to live!


  14. I.Q. June 26, 2021 6:41 am Reply

    Seems the Garden Island should require IQ test scores before publishing comments from those in the imbecile section of elementary school incompetence.


  15. Kalehua June 26, 2021 10:26 am Reply

    RGladder37 AKA I saw a vampire once

    I don’t understand your logic or communication style. You comment a lot. Clear as mud.


  16. RGLadder37 June 26, 2021 2:16 pm Reply

    Kalehua: Actually Kalehua, really tough choices. But I’m still for MIT.

    Florida condos? Really interesting topic


  17. I saw a Vampire once June 26, 2021 3:55 pm Reply

    Now…now…RGLadder37. Be nice to strange people who think there’s more than one code. To one person.

    Too weird are them. I only use I saw a Vampire once. Cuppish….


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