UPDATED: 2:04 p.m.
Gov. David Ige today announced international tourists will be welcome to Hawaii under new federal requirements beginning on Monday.
Separately, Ige announced indoor capacity for restaurants, bars and gyms will remain at 50% unless the county has implemented a vaccination requirement or negative COVID-19 test policy starting Nov. 12. On the same date, Ige discussed dropping restrictions such as masking and social distancing requirements for outdoor activities.
“As a reminder, indoor activities at restaurants, bars and social establishments must continue to require patrons remain seated with their party, maintain six feet of distancing between groups, do not mingle and wear masks at all times except when actively eating or drinking,” Ige said during the press conference. “Effective Nov. 12 … outdoor activity at restaurants, bars and social establishments will no longer be subject to these restrictions.”
Under new federal requirements for international travel:
>> Non-U.S. citizens traveling directly to Hawaii from international destinations must present both a vaccination record and a negative COVID-19 test result (NAAT or antigen) within three days of boarding a flight to the United States.
>> U.S. citizens flying directly to Hawaii from an international destination have one of two options such as providing proof of vaccination or providing proof of negative COVID-19 test result within one day of boarding flight to U.S.
>> There will be no additional state requirements for passengers flying directly into Hawaii from an international destination. Airlines will screen passengers prior to their departure to the U.S.
>> If foreign passengers fail to meet both requirements and if U.S. citizens fail to meet one of the two requirements, they will not be allowed to board the flight. Once in Hawaii, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will conduct compliance checks.
>> Tests do not have to be done with the state’s trusted travel partners under the new international federal requirements, but they must be done with a trusted travel partner for unvaccinated domestic travel.
>> International passengers entering the U.S. from another state or territory will be treated as domestic travelers when entering the State of Hawaii. The Safe Travels Hawaii program remains in place for domestic travelers.
Shortly after the press conference, Hawaii Tourism Authority CEO and president John De Fries issued a statement.
“We are only able to reopen the visitor industry because of the measures taken by the people of Hawaii throughout this pandemic to keep each other safe and keep our community healthy,” De Fries said. “Thanks to your efforts, we can now continue the work of bringing Hawaii’s economy back to support our local small businesses and kamaaina working families.”
Current Safe Travels Hawaii requirements for domestic travelers include:
>> Creating a Safe Travels Hawaii account on a digital device;
>> Entering trip details;
>> Filling out a health form;
>> Attesting that all information is correct.
Currently, travelers may bypass the state’s mandatory 10-day quarantine by either uploading a vaccination document or uploading a negative NAAT test result.
The test must be taken by a trusted travel partner within three days of departure for the State of Hawaii.
Also, beginning Monday, Hawaii in alignment with the federal government, will accept vaccines approved or authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and vaccines listed for emergency use by the World Health Organization. A list of currently accepted vaccines is posted on the CDC’s website.
“Thanks to the people of Hawaii for their patience and for taking precautions to keep our communities safe,” Ige said in a statement. “Our state continues to see one of the lowest incidences of COVID-19 and death rates related to the virus. As more and more people are vaccinated, we are moving to ease pandemic mitigation measures — including travel restrictions — in a way that ensures the health and safety of our communities.”
Editor’s Note: This story is developing and will be updated as soon as more information becomes available.