Hawaii will not require booster shots for tourists

HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii Gov. David Ige said the Safe Travels Hawai’i program will remain unchanged at this time and booster shots will not be needed to satisfy the up-to-date vaccination status required for individuals traveling to the state.

The Safe Travels Program will still require travelers to show proof of their vaccination status so they may avoid testing or bypass quarantine requirements when they arrive in Hawaii.

“In making this decision, we considered declining COVID-19 case counts in Hawaii, the continental U.S. and Europe,“ Ige said in a statement. ”Hospitalizations have also dropped.”

Ige said he encourages people to get boosted and will keep his indoor mask mandate for public places.

Maui on Feb. 7 ended its booster mandate for businesses like bars, restaurants and gyms.

“We made this decision in close coordination with the four county mayors, the Department of Health, and in collaboration with Hawaii’s travel, hotel, tourism, transportation, retail and restaurant industries,” Gen. Kenneth Hara, incident commander of the state’s COVID-19 response, said in a statement.

Ige said concerns from the visitor industry were considered, but he said he made this decision on the health and safety of Hawaii residents and efforts they are taking to get both vaccines and boosters.

State health director Dr. Libby Char said even though booster shots are not required currently for travelers, they continue to be effective in reducing serious illness.

“Omicron case counts are dropping but we don’t know if or when we may see another surge in cases of COVID-19. Getting vaccinated and boosted now will help to prevent you from becoming seriously ill,” she said.

 

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