Hawaii residents touring Interisland may be the first users in the state of what is known as a vaccination pass program that is expected to roll out in the next few weeks.
State officials planned to reveal more details about what the program will look like and how it will work on Tuesday, Governor David Ige said Monday during an interview with the Honolulu Star Advertiser’s “Spotlight” program.
Interisland travelers to counties of Kauai, Maui, and Hawaii must receive a negative COVID-19 test or a 10-day quarantine within 72 hours of departure. Under the proposed vaccination pass, vaccinated residents could skip the test and quarantine.
However, it wasn’t clear when vaccinated mainland visitors might also be circumventing the state’s quarantine rules.
“It gets a lot more complicated checking vaccinations in other states,” said Ige. “This is more of a challenge, but we’ll start with people who have been vaccinated in the state of Hawaii first.”
Daily arrivals of passengers in Hawaii have been around 20,000 for the past week, and Ige said trying to monitor everyone on board flights and move between islands is also a logistical challenge for state officials.
Ige said CommonPass and Clear, two companies tasked with developing the passport program, were working on integrating vaccination protocols into the state’s Safe Travels program.
“If we can do it electronically, it could really speed things up a lot,” said Ige.
The state must also work out a system for mainland tourists wishing to travel between islands.
Ige did not specifically state whether this would be allowed or whether these types of travelers would have to use a system that is separate from Hawaiian residents. However, the governor said that allowing residents to travel between islands should give the state time to connect its systems to national networks accessible to CommonPass and Clear.
Iges recent emergency announcement detailed plans for Hawaii’s vaccination record. The program has yet to be approved by the director of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, Kenneth Hara.
Lt. Governor Josh Green has previously said that the Interisland pass should start on May 1st.
State extends vaccination eligibility
Eligibility to vaccinate is available to all Hawaiian residents who are 16 or older as of Monday. More than 1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in the state.
“Schedule your vaccine as soon as possible,” State Health Director Elizabeth Char said in a press release. “We don’t have enough to vaccinate everyone right away, but you can now schedule your shot. If you can’t get an appointment today, you may be able to get one in the near future. “
The health department encouraged 16- and 17-year-olds to schedule appointments to receive the Pfizer vaccine, which the US Food and Drug Administration has approved for emergency use for these age groups. The Moderna vaccine is recommended for people who are at least 18 years old.
Officials are asking residents to visit the state’s vaccination registration page to find appointments.
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