Hawaii is looking to restart travel and requesting proof of vaccination may just be the answer. The state wants to allow inoculated travelers to visit as long as they are able to present digital vaccine passports, containing a QR code revealing medical information. If able to present proof of a COVID vaccine, visitors won’t have to quarantine upon arrival.
This initiative may begin as soon as May 1 and will likely be tried out with in-state essential workers who have been the first people to receive the vaccine.
“We’re hopeful that [by] April 1 for all of our state individuals any citizen that has been vaccinated plus two weeks to fly inter-island,” Hawaii Governor Josh Green told Travel + Leisure earlier this week. The program could be extended to US mainland travelers as early as the beginning of May. As tourism makes up a large part of the state’s revenue, local officials are eager to safely jumpstart travel as soon as possible.
Airlines are cooperating as well. United, Hawaiian, and American airlines have introduced pre-flight testing for passengers headed to the island. Additionally, starting February 18, Delta and United passengers from Los Angeles to Honolulu are now able to register their negative test results via Clear’s Health Pass. The only exception is the island of Kauai which not only requires a negative test pre-travel but also wants visitors to stay at an approved resort bubble and test negative again within 72 hours of arrival.
The digital vaccine passport is a rising trend and is being seen as a potential solution to restarting travel. Another country actively exploring the option is Denmark, which hopes to kick start its tourism industry and international travel by June with its COVID passport initiative.