SAN FRANCISCO -- If you're fully vaccinated, you may not need to get a COVID-19 test before traveling to Hawaii this summer.
Lt. Gov. Josh Green said Hawaii is planning to modify its rules for entering the state around the July 4 holiday. The exact date hasn't yet been set.
Starting on May 11, Green said, Hawaii is loosening up restrictions on interisland travel to those who have been vaccinated in Hawaii and are fully vaccinated. That means it's been two weeks since their second Pfizer or Moderna dose, or two weeks since receiving the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
"That program will evolve and apply to the mainland" in July, Green said.
After that, in what Green called "Phase 3," Hawaii plans to reopen to international tourists. He didn't specify a target date.
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Since December 2020, travelers have been required to take a COVID-19 test 72 hours before departure and show proof of a negative result, or quarantine for 10 days upon arrival. This "Safe Travels" program" reducing COVID-19 cases from travel by 88% in the state, Green said.
Those who don't want to or cannot be vaccinated will still have the option to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test or quarantine for 10 days upon arrival. For example, children under 16 who are not yet eligible to receive the vaccine will still need a negative test even if their parents are vaccinated.
Green said Hawaii expects to reach herd immunity sometime around the July 4 weekend based on the pace of its vaccine rollout.
Right now, California and Hawaii are two of the safest states when it comes to COVID-19. They are neck-and-neck for fewest new cases per capita.
"As we're safer and you're safer, then that vaccine passport makes all the sense in the world, " the lieutenant governor said.
Tourism is already at 65% of normal levels in Hawaii, he said, and they're gearing up for even more travel during the peak summer season.
"We actually had more tourists than we could believe in the year leading up to COVID, we topped over 10 million people. But we love tourists," said Green. "We will be ready."
Watch our full interview with Hawaii Lt. Gov. Josh Green in the media player at the top of this story.
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