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Fully Vaccinated Trans-Pacific Travelers Can Bypass Quarantine, Testing Starting July 8


UPDATE 12:15 p.m.: Starting July 8, fully vaccinated trans-Pacific travelers can bypass quarantine and a pre-travel COVID-19 test, Gov. David Ige announced Thursday.

In two weeks, the state expects 60% of Hawaii's population to be fully vaccinated, which triggered the change. Travelers will need to upload their vaccination information to the SafeTravels system, as well as bring a hard copy of their CDC-issued vaccination card.

Indoor social gatherings will increase to a maximum of 25 people, while outdoor social gatherings will expand to 75. Restaurants may increase capacity to 75%, with maximum group sizes of 25 indoors and 75 outdoors, starting July 8, the governor said.

"Our residents have sacrificed and worked hard to get to this point, but we still have more to do. Please get vaccinated to protect yourselves and your loved ones. We are close to achieving a 70% vaccination rate, at which point all restrictions will end and we can return to the lives we remember,” Ige said.

"Please encourage friends and family to get their questions (about vaccinations) answered," he said at the press conference.

Ige also announced that statewide vaccination goals will not affect the counties’ policies regarding structured events like weddings. This applies only to travel, social gatherings, and restaurants.

Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi said, “Our next goal is 70%, it’s achievable and it will mean little to no restrictions on operations in the City and County of Honolulu. Let’s get there sooner rather than later by urging all our friends, relatives, neighbors, and coworkers to get vaccinated now.”

Hawaiʻi Gov. David Ige and county mayors will speak at a news conference today to discuss changes to travel and gathering rules.

Kaua‘i County Mayor Derek Kawakami and City & County of Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi have been confirmed to appear at the event.

Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino and County of Hawaiʻi Mayor Mitch Roth have been invited.

Ige has said the state will allow domestic trans-Pacific travelers who are vaccinated outside of Hawai‘i but within the country to begin using vaccination exemptions when 60% of Hawai‘i’s population is fully vaccinated.

The state will end all travel restrictions when 70% of Hawai‘i’s population is fully vaccinated, the state said previously.

The news conference will be live streamed on Ige's Facebook page at noon.

Jason Ubay is the managing editor at Hawaiʻi Public Radio. Send your story ideas to him at jubay@hawaiipublicradio.org.
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