Hawaii Drops COVID Testing Requirements, Making It Easy Once Again To Visit the Islands
The governor of Hawaii, David Y. Ige, is saying goodbye to Hawaii’s strict entry requirements. Beginning March 26, domestic travelers will be able to travel to Hawaii with very few restrictions, according to a news release.
The state is eliminating its mandatory five-day self-quarantine rule, and domestic visitors will no longer have to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result as a part of its Safe Travels program. International travelers, however, will still have to follow the nationwide requirement of providing a negative covid test taken one day before departure.
“We started the Safe Travels program to protect the health, lives, and livelihoods of the people of Hawaii,” Ige said in the statement. “The program put in place safety protocols that included a multi-layered screening and testing approach that kept our communities safe during the COVID-19 surges that endangered the most vulnerable of our citizens. Right now, we are seeing lower case counts, and hospitalizations are coming down.”
Now’s the time to experience the many activities Hawaii has to offer. New cases in the state are on a downtrend since the omicron surge. Still, visitors need to keep in mind that the state’s mask mandate will remain in place.
“Many states dropped their mask mandates earlier in the pandemic, only to have to reinstate them once the Delta variant surged,” Ige said. “Hawaii maintained its mask mandate and our consistency helped to keep COVID case numbers and hospitalizations as low as possible during the surge. It is also one of the reasons Hawaiʻi has the second lowest death rate in the country.”
Last year, Hawaii announced it planned to lift travel restrictions once at least 70 percent of the state’s population was vaccinated, but omicron derailed that plan. Just over 77 percent of the state’s population is now fully vaccinated, according to The Washington Post.
In the past, some local Hawaiians have expressed concern about over-tourism, so be mindful when planning your trip and do you part to give back to the beautiful state and its people before you leave.