HONOLULU (KHON2) — Beginning June 15 all quarantine and testing restrictions for neighbor island travel will be dropped.
Fewer transpacific travel restrictions are coming for Hawaii residents fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
“June 15th we will be ending of the restriction on inter-county travel,” Gov. David Ige said.
That means no testing or quarantine for anyone traveling inter-island.
Those fully vaccinated in Hawaii at least two weeks before traveling can also bypass restrictions when they return from the mainland.
The state is currently 52% vaccinated as of Friday, according to the governor.
The Department of Health predicted Hawaii will reach 55% immunity by mid-June.
When the state reaches the 60% mark, Ige said even more restrictions will be lifted.
“We will accept, through the Safe Travels (Program), vaccine cards from travelers coming from the US,” Ige said.
That means all transpacific travelers will be exempt from quarantine and testing as long as they can prove they were vaccinated in the United States, according to Department of Health Director Dr. Libby Char.
“My understanding is an electronic database can be accessed for people who get vaccine and state of Hawaii,” Char explained. “People from the mainland will be a manual check of vaccine card. They will show screeners at the airport.”
Once the state reaches 70%, Ige said, “All restrictions on travel will be lifted and safe travels will be ended.”
Big Island resident Kamanao Pihana said he can’t wait.
“I think that’s good,” Pihana said. “I had to go through all this struggles to get testing and vaccine so I think that’ll be great. Finally we can travel without having to do all that stuff.”
Ulrich Petri, who recently arrived from New York, said he is excited to hear Hawaii will lift it’s restrictions soon.
“There was some extra steps of course but if we could do it really quickly that would be awesome,” Ulrich said. “I’m ready to get back to normal as soon as possible. However that takes place, let’s do it.”
Governor said loosening of travel restrictions are subject to change, and the rules could be reinstated if case counts drastically increase.