Some officials push for coronavirus vaccine passport as CDC issues new travel guidance

Coronavirus

HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued new travel guidance on Friday, April 2, stating that fully vaccinated Americans can travel within the country without a pre-travel test or quarantine.

Hawaii’s Safe Travels Program still requires all travelers to take a pre-test within 72 hours of their flight and it is unknown how long it will remain in place — even for vaccinated people.

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“Having a vaccine is safe, having a vaccine is safe for others around you too, and we should make that what we do,” said Lt. Gov. Dr. Josh Green. “So I’ve asked the governor and the team to strongly consider in early May, using this as our standard in place of in place of the test.”

Lt. Gov. Green has been pushing for a vaccine passport for months and he hopes it can be rolled out quickly in Hawaii since federal health guidance has approved of vaccinated travelers doing so without a pre-test — especially for residents who want to travel inter-island.

“If you have been vaccinated, it’s really outrageous to not allow someone to travel freely between the islands, that’s completely safe and acceptable,” he said.

He said, Safe Travels will remain in place for unvaccinated travelers.

Gov. Ige said on Wednesday, March 31, he was waiting on CDC guidance to make a decision about whether the state would consider allowing people into the state without a negative test or quarantine.

“I don’t believe it would take a whole lot of time once the science is approved, and once they can get access to vaccine records,” he said. “I’m certain we will be able to incorporate the vaccine records with the safe travels program relatively quickly, two to four weeks would be possible.”

Gov. Ige said, he is concerned some unvaccinated travelers will use fake vaccine cards to enter the state and potentially spread the virus.

The FBI issued a special alert warning the public of making or buying fake vaccine cards which have been found and advertised on social media and other platforms.

A total of 44 attorneys general nationwide sent letters to CEO’s of websites like eBay to keep an eye out for people offering fake cards. The letters also suggested taking the listing down and noting the username and identity of the person listing them.  

The FBI said, anyone using an unauthorized government agency seal such as the CDC’s can face up to five years in prison.

The FBI also recommends people not post photos of their vaccine cards online for others to see.

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