Fully vaccinated Americans traveling from the mainland to Hawaii will no longer be subject to pre-travel testing and quarantine requirements starting July 8.
Hawaii Governor David Ige said the move comes as the state closes in on 60 percent of its residents reaching full vaccination status.
“We anticipate that on or about July 8, Hawaii will have achieved a 60 percent vaccination rate,” Ige said in a statement. “Our residents have sacrificed and worked hard to get to this point, but we still have more to do. Please get vaccinated to protect yourself and your loved ones. We are close to achieving a 70 percent vaccination rate, at which point all restrictions will end and we can return to the lives we remember.”
The 60 percent level also means other changes, including restaurants moving to 75 percent capacity and social gathering limits being expanded to 25 people indoors and 75 outdoors.
A mask mandate for any indoor activity will remain in place, although masks are no longer required outdoors.
“Our next goal is 70 percent,” Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi said. “It’s achievable, and it will mean little to no restrictions on operations in the city and county of Honolulu. Let’s get there sooner rather than later by urging all our friends, relatives, neighbors, and co-workers to get vaccinated now.”
Currently, visitors to Hawaii from the mainland must present a negative test from a designated partner upon arrival in the state or undergo a 10-day quarantine. That ends July 8 for fully vaccinated visitors, who must present a hard copy of their vaccination record as well as upload it into the state’s Safe Travels database.
“We believe that it’ll make it easier for those who have been vaccinated to travel to Hawaii, and we do believe that it will help somewhat in bringing more visitors here,” Ige told CNN.
Even as the rules relax, officials will continue to push safety measures and the need for everyone to get vaccinated.
“With news of the Delta variant spreading in our state, it is clear that the threat of COVID is not over,” Kauai Mayor Derek Kawakami said. “But we now have the tools we need to protect ourselves and others. Please continue to be responsible in wearing masks and keeping your distance while in crowded spaces, and get vaccinated if you are able.”