July 4 realistic timeframe for reopening inter-island travel, possible vaccine passport

Coronavirus
ala moana july 4th fireworks show_96856

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Governor David Ige answered media questions on Monday regarding several topics.

He said the state was on track to open up vaccines to 16 and older possibly by next week.

Download the KHON2 app for iOS or Android to stay informed of Hawaii’s breaking news

“I spoke to Dr. Libby Char this morning, and she believes in a few days, maybe a week, we will be able to complete all those in priority 1C, which would move us to all adults 16 and older,” he said.

He said the state was looking into piloting a possible safe travels vaccine passport.

This comes after the CDC announced last week that it was low risk for vaccinated travelers to spread Covid-19, and said they could travel without a pre-test or quarantine.

Other states have rolled out a vaccine passport for large events including sporting events, but Governor Ige said Hawaii was behind in that process and it would be difficult to verify who has been vaccinated in the state.

“The challenge is that there is no comprehensive record of those who have been vaccinated in Hawaii,” he explained. “We have been focused on administering shots in arms. We’ve told the providers that they need to report on gross vaccinations provided so that we can report that information back to the federal government, but we didn’t explicitly require that they enter the vaccination records into the system. So right now we don’t have a comprehensive record of who has been vaccinated in the state.”

“We’re building that record, you know, we’re asking all providers to input, and update the data, but we haven’t made it a condition of administering vaccines that they enter the information in the data systems,” he continued.

Ige said the state will work with Clear and Common Pass to see if vaccinated travelers can be verified without worrying about falsifying cards.

“Everybody will have a code that you’ll copy from their application and put into our application and then it will validate back and you’ll be clear to go,” explained Doug Murdock, chief information officer, Enterprise Technology Services.

In the meantime, Ige said inter-island travel will not open anytime soon as case counts on Maui and Oahu remain high.

“I think we do support limiting travel between these counties and others until we can get more people vaccinated so we can prevent virus spreading island to island,” he said.

Governor Ige said July 4 would be a reasonable timeframe, adding that most of the state would be vaccinated by then.

The state’s CIO also said summer would be a realistic timeframe for rolling out any type of traveler’s vaccine verification system.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

More Hawaii News

More Local News

Trending Stories