Mask mandates and vaccine passports/exceptions – what’s the latest for Hawaii?

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Rules for masks and vaccines passports continue to be hot topics for Hawaii and around the world. Many would-be travelers want to know what the rules are. So, we wanted to provide a quick update on both topics.

Mask mandates remain in effect for Hawaii

Last week the CDC relaxed their face covering guidelines, but Hawaii plans to keep their mask mandates in effect at least for now. Governor Ige says he thinks it’s better to continue wearing masks until the state gets to 70% to 80% of residents vaccinated. Per Lt. Governor Green, approximately 60% of Hawaii residents have started the vaccination process. See this KHON2 article for additional insights.

If you aren’t familiar with Hawaii’s mask mandate rules, basically the requirement is to wear a mask when you are in public settings. See Exhibit J at the end of this emergency proclamation for the statewide rule.

Vaccine passports/exceptions for travel to Hawaii

Starting last week, individuals fully vaccinated in the State of Hawaii are allowed to travel inter-county without pre-travel testing or quarantine starting the 15th day after the completion of their vaccination and after proof of vaccination has been uploaded to their Safe Travels account. That’s great for Hawaii residents who received their vaccines in Hawaii, but it’s not open for individuals who were vaccinated outside of Hawaii.

Lt. Gov. Green has indicated he thinks Hawaii may be on track for implementing a vaccine passport/exception for US Mainland travelers in July and international travelers by the end of the year. The biggest hurdle is having a system to verify the validity of the vaccine cards. See this KHON2 article for more information.

As a reminder a vaccine passport is not planned to be a necessity for visiting Hawaii. From everything we’ve heard, pre-travel testing will continue to be an option for bypassing quarantine.

See these official resources from the state of Hawaii for the current travel rules:

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