Governor David Ige just announced his approval of a vaccine passport plan that is slated to begin for interisland travelers who received their vaccination in Hawai'i. The program will begin on May 11. This is quite an accomplishment for us as we have been outspoken advocates for the establishment of such a program from the very beginning.
As you know, vaccine passports are a voluntary program that will allow fully vaccinated Hawai'i residents who have waited the prescribed time after vaccination to travel freely without a pre-arrival test or a mandatory quarantine period. This will not only allow locals to move more freely from county to county safely but will also serve as a trial run for vaccine passports to eventually be extended to trans-Pacific and international visitors. It should also bolster efforts to get more local people vaccinated.
That being said, it is imperative now more than ever that we, as a community, continue to abide by public health mandates like face covering requirements and limits on gathering size if we hope to accelerate this process and really kickstart our economic recovery. Mahalo to Governor Ige, Lt. Gov. Green, General Hara, State Health Director Libby Char, and the county mayors for their work on this initiative. This is truly a win-win situation for all of us- especially employers and local residents who want and need to get back to work!
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