If you’re a United States resident, good news: as of March 26, domestic travelers will not be required to show proof of vaccination or a negative test to bypass a five-day quarantine to enter the state of Hawaii.
International visitors will still be subject to the current United States travel rules, which means providing proof of vaccination and a negative test taken no more than 24 hours before departure.
“We started the Safe Travels program to protect the health, lives, and livelihoods of the people of Hawaii,” Hawaii governor David Ige said in a statement. “The program put in place safety protocols that included a multi-layered screening and testing approach that kept our communities safe during the COVID-19 surges that endangered the most vulnerable of our citizens. Right now, we are seeing lower case counts, and hospitalizations are coming down.”
The state’s mask mandate will remain in place — it’s the only state in the country that has not yet dropped its statewide indoor mask mandate. The governor did say that officials are “watching disease activity closely across the state, the country, and globally, and [it] will adjust accordingly.”
Hawaii started its Safe Travels program in October 2020. In 2021, the state said it would lift travel restrictions after the state was 70 percent vaccinated, but the Omicron variant derailed that plan. Currently, over 75 percent of the state’s population is fully vaccinated.
The state’s Lieutenant Governor Josh Green told The Washington Post last month that tourism was around 30 to 40 percent below 2019 numbers, but it had almost returned to normal before the Omicron wave hit.
Hawaii dropping its entry requirements for domestic travelers is good news for Norwegian Cruise Line, which operates its ship Pride of America year-round around the state’s islands from Honolulu.
While Norwegian Cruise Line does still have its own vaccine policy and testing requirements in place, travelers will no longer have to worry about taking a test or going through quarantine to enter Hawaii and get to the ship.