Hawaii Safe Travels

Starting February 18: Hawaii Safe Travels Booster Requirement + More

We have been saying for more than a month that boosters would soon become required to visit Hawaii. Now we have word that it begins on February 18 according to a reliable source. More on that below. In addition, three islands are further aligning with Covid booster requirements.

February 18 Hawaii Safe Travels officially rumored start date.

Hawaii doesn’t always do things straightforward, so it isn’t totally surprising that the news of a booster start date came from neither the governor nor the lieutenant governor. Instead, it came from Honolulu’s mayor. This week Rick Blangiardi announced that “the targeted date for that is February 18.”

When the governor said last week that Covid boosters would be required, he did not announce a date on which that change would occur. In part, that was because the complexity of implementing that mandate within Safe Travels was becoming clear. His last statement on the issue was “we are working through what the requirements would be to allow us to identify whether an individual is up to date in their vaccinations..and what would be required to manually evaluate that status, and looking for ways to automate the assessment of whether someone has gotten all of their vaccination shots, including their boosters.”

Hawaii currently requires only either 1) the primary dose of vaccine or 2) a PCR test within 72 hours before travel, to avoid quarantine in Hawaii.

The testing exemption should continue to be available even after boosters are added to the vaccination exemption.

Hawaii Safe Travels caught unprepared.

The Hawaii Safe Travels website was never intended to record boosters, and still only supports either negative test results or primary vaccinations. They are in the process of implementing that change. The issues were complicated by staffing issues, and, as the governor said, “we were already seeing staffing shortages like many are seeing all across the state. We have been unable to hire all the people we need to implement the safe travels program.”

Governor’s two weeks’ notice means announcement due on or before February 4.

The governor said Hawaii will “provide at least two weeks for those who may not be up-to-date…to get vaccinated.” That means we should have this be announced within the next two weeks or less.

Maui restaurants require boosters starting January 24.

Maui previously announced that a booster will be required next week to comply with its Safer Outdoors program. Patrons will be required to provide proof of primary and booster vaccinations to dine in at restaurants, as well as when going to bars or gyms unless a prior test with 24 hours is provided.

Taking it a step further, Maui’s mayor said he has “asked Gov. Ige to consider revising Safe Travels Hawaii to require travelers to show proof of a booster shot.” The rules on Maui are that patrons must be vaccinated including booster or provide proof of negative test taken within 48 hours of entry into the premises, which test must be an FDA approved or FDA EUA approved molecular or antigen test.

Big Island wants a Safe Travels booster requirement too. 

The county has indicated that it would also like to see the change implemented as they align with both Honolulu and Maui. Governor Ige indicated he had been discussing this change with the mayors, so these announcements come as no surprise.

Updated 1/22/22.

557 thoughts on “Starting February 18: Hawaii Safe Travels Booster Requirement + More”

  1. We have our QR codes and we are fully vaccinated in addition to our passports. Do we meet all of the requirements for travel to maui on April 25th

    Thank You
    Don M

  2. We are scheduled to visit Oahu/Maui after February 18 and 1 member of our party got Covid after 2 vaccinations at Christmas. They can’t receive the booster for 90 days. How can they comply with the booster requirement?
    Thank you and I look forward to your response.

    1. Hi Beth.

      Nothing is required in terms of a booster at this time. We will need to see what the state does, if anything, to learn more.


  3. Planning to travel to Hawaii from the mainland at the end of the month. So many different reports on how bad (or not bad) Covid is in the Islands… Anyone been there recently or live in Hawaii that can give me the real story about the situation? Thanks for the scope.

    1. Hi Jeff.

      Suppose it is all relative to where you are visiting from. Cases are definitely on the decline from where they were in January.


    1. Hi Rod.

      Yes. You can set up your profile at any time and when you are ready, add trip details subsequently.


  4. I’m sitting at the gate for an Alaska flight to Kona. They are requiring people to sign into the Safe Travels website on a device to pre-clear you and give you a magic bracelet to sail through the airport Hawaii-side. If you OR anyone you’re traveling with (?!) even if you have different Safe Travels accounts, do not have two green checks on your QR code, none of you can get a bracelet. So I’m all green. My travel companion is not. She has vax, I have negative test.This is Kafkaesque.

  5. It really makes no sense to require booster shots as the medical experts have established that the current vaccine has no effect on blocking the Omicon version. It appears that the governor doesn’t understand. Omicron is in remission and Hawaii needs to rethink.

  6. If there was any question before, it’s crystal clear now. Your governor is insane. With omicron-dominated trends falling, UK, Ireland, Denmark, Finland and more and more states are slashing or eliminating crazy rules, and Ige wants to plunge deeper into this lunacy?

  7. You need to cover all scenarios of these booster mandates. If you recently received you second Pfizer shot how are you expected to get a booster shot if travel is scheduled only
    2 1/2 months later?? What’s the minimal amount of time after 2nd dose that you must get a booster to be labeled fully vaccinated? People need answers because there’s a lot of $ invested in these trips and cancelling is time sensitive and must be decided asap..

  8. We arrived on Maui on 01/22- met all requirements for COVID vaccination per Hawaii safe travels. Now we read we need a booster- we have appointment on 02/06 at our PCP office when we get home. What do we do in order to eat out on Maui?

  9. You can still visit your property. I spent 4 and a half months in Kauai from October 2020 through February 2021. I was able to return for 2 months in November and December 2021. I’m returning again in March of this year. All I had to do was comply with the State and Country of Kauai’s health and safety laws. As always a good time was had by all. Aloha!

    1. Hi Nani.

      You’re an example of a good attitude going a long way to make things work. Thanks for nearly 100 comments.


      1. Aloha E! So sorry you’ve had such a hard time. I’ve been back and forth to Kauai 3 times under the safe travels program without confusion. You might want to ask a younger friend or family member to help you negotiate the app or the airline staff is also very willing to help you before you leave the mainland. Have a wonderful time in paradise!

  10. Goldie C the cdc said natural immunity PLUS vaccines give the best immunity. You “forgot” the vaccines part. Of course this assumes you survive your bout of covid. The dead don’t provide any immunity statistics.

  11. The HI-EMA Covid dashboard no longer shows daily number of tests taken or “positivity” rate.

    They still show daily, 7 day average, and 14 days running total “cases”.

    As of Jan 23, 55K people tested positive over last 14 days, 400 in hospital, 49 in ICU. They do not breakdown vaxed/booted or not, or whether due to COVID or due to something else but tested positive for COVID. Cumulative fatality rate is 0.6%


  12. What does it Look like For Kauai rules comming ?

    I Had Phiser 1 and 2 April after I GOT Back From Kauai

    have not Got Booster yet am coming in March

    A Big Thank You !
    I watch this site for most of my Island updates
    Oh and last article had asked about new or Returning Visitors I think Returning Visitors are Better Because Thay care about the Islands as they Want to come back so I Hope they Leave it Better !

    1. Hi CowboyBob.

      No word on any changes on Kauai thus far. Our sense is whatever happens, if anything, will be adopted statewide.



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