Hawaii Resort Warns About Pending Changes To Vaccine Exemption

by joeheg

Throughout the past 2 years, the state of Hawaii has instituted a variety of COVID restrictions for residents and visitors. Whether it was requirements for travel to the islands or even between islands, mandatory testing before boarding flights to eventually allowing fully vaccinated guests to visit without any testing requirement.

The Omicron variant put stress on that system but Hawaii seems to have its own wave of cases, which appears to now be receding.

a graph with a line going up

That doesn’t mean Hawaii is going to start pretending there’s no longer a virus out there. Instead they’re still going to do everything it can to make sure Hawaiians and visitors are protected.

Governor David Ige said that the state is considering changing the Safe Travels Hawai‘i program to make having a booster part of the program’s vaccine exemption. If you’re not vaccinated or have a negative test before flying to Hawaii, you’re subject to a 14-day quarantine upon arrival.

While that hasn’t happened yet, some Hawaiian islands have put their own restrictions into place. Maui now requires people to be fully vaccinated + boosted or show a negative test to eat inside, visit a bar or go to a gym.

Honolulu’s Mayor has said that February 18th is the proposed date for statewide changes and subsequent changes to the Safe Access O’ahu program to match the booster requirement.

That’s is probably why we received this email from Disney’s Aulani resort on Oahu.

We are delighted you have chosen to stay with us at Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa, Ko Olina. We are looking forward to welcoming you soon.

As you prepare for your upcoming trip, please be advised that the Government of Hawaii is considering changes to Hawaii’s Safe Travels Program. Specifically, travelers planning to utilize their vaccine status to receive an exemption to the State of Hawaii’s mandatory quarantine may be required to be up to date on their COVID-19 booster shots. Please continue to stay updated on the latest travel requirements by visiting the State of Hawaii’s Safe Travels website.

I’m waiting to see if I get a similar email from the other places we’re staying in Hawaii. I’ve already filled out the information for my Hawaii Safe Travels barcode using my CLEAR Health Pass but I imagine I’d need to reapply if a booster is required.

Whatever paperwork is required, I’m glad that Hawaii is following health experts’ recommendations to keep both the workers and visitors safe and healthy. 

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Mary Nichols January 28, 2022 - 1:02 pm

What will they do about unboosted people who recently had COVID?

Bob Smith January 29, 2022 - 4:17 am

All fine for Americans but Japan is a huge revenue source for Hawaii too and we’re not even eligible for boosters here until March due to the extremely slow rollout at the start. Really needs to be some common sense in places asking for boosters, example only if it’s been 8 months since your last shot.

joeheg January 29, 2022 - 8:07 am

Hawaii’s Safe Travels program only applies to domestic US flights. International travelers are subject to the same requirements as anyone else entering the US.

The State of Hawai‘i is in alignment with federal international requirements for passengers flying directly into Hawai‘i from an international destination and there are no additional State of Hawaiʻi requirements.

Bob January 28, 2022 - 9:26 pm

“I’m glad that Hawaii is following health experts’ recommendations”

Not all experts though:


joeheg January 29, 2022 - 8:14 am

Scientific advice changes and what was said in Sept isn’t the same as what the recommendations are now.


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