Maui Stops Booster Requirement, Changes Afoot For Hawaii Travel Rules

Starting Monday, the Covid requirements on Maui have again changed. In a sudden reversal, Maui just dropped its recent booster requirement in determining what is considered fully vaccinated. But what does that mean for Hawaii visitors and the Safe Travels program with which all visitors must comply?

Will boosters still be required for Hawaii visitors?

Hawaii’s Governor Ige has again gone radio silent on his latest plans. Ugg. About two weeks ago he confirmed without ambiguity once again that boosters would soon be required. At that time, neither the governor nor the Lt. Governor, however, addressed exactly when that would happen. But Honolulu mayor Rick Blangiardi spoke up instead, announcing “the targeted date for that is February 18.”

Boosters, Quarantine + Testing In Question As Hawaii Looks For Viable Model

Starting February 18: Hawaii Safe Travels Booster Requirement + More

Are more changes afoot as Hawaii covid cases plummet?

When last we heard from the governor, he said the hold-up was due to the complexity of implementing the booster requirement within Safe Travels. Ige said then the state was “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.”

Ige has said repeatedly that he would afford travelers two weeks’ notice of the booster shot requirements. But all that was before Omicron appeared to peak then began its decline. So now, it is completely unclear what Hawaii will be doing.

Until further notice, Hawaii requires only either 1) a primary dose of vaccine or 2) a PCR test within 72 hours of the transpacific flight, to avoid quarantine in Hawaii. The testing exemption should continue to be available even after boosters are added to the vaccination exemption. All travelers must comply with the specific testing and trusted partner requirements of its Safe Travels program.

Maui reversal was announced yesterday with three days’ notice.

The Maui mayor cited a reduction in cases and fewer hospitalizations for his change in plans that take effect on February 7, saying, “the showing of proof of updated vaccinated including boosters to dine in restaurants will no longer be required.”

Since the change to require boosters was announced last month, it became mandated for those dining indoors at restaurants and bars and exercising at gyms. Now, the only requirement will be the primary vaccination series.

The number of Covid cases in Hawaii has been on a rapid decline, down from its recent highs by 80% or more.

Honolulu retains requirements for restaurants, bars, and gyms.

Honolulu is the other county that has vaccination requirements. The Safe Access Oahu program mandates that customers at restaurants, bars, gyms, theaters, and other businesses must either provide proof of primary vaccination or negative COVID test results in the past 48 hours.

Boosters, Quarantine + Testing In Question As Hawaii Looks For Viable Model

Starting February 18: Hawaii Safe Travels Booster Requirement + More

What do you think is coming next?

It just isn’t clear whether the state still intends to implement a booster requirement for Hawaii visitors. Or, will that plan now be scrapped.

65 thoughts on “Maui Stops Booster Requirement, Changes Afoot For Hawaii Travel Rules”

  1. I read through most comments and it did not appear that – “So many comments here state that they won’t visit Hawaii because of the covid rules”. Yes many comments are critical of the Government mandates, but very little on not visiting Hawaii because of them. Just wanted to make that clear. Mahalo!

  2. ‘Continue to grow’ means they are an increasing number of visitors. If I’d meant they were at or above pre-covid rates I would have said that.

    I fail to see what this has to do with being in the US. I was actually born on Oahu when it was a Territory. I’ve been following this for a few years.

  3. So many comments here state that they won’t visit Hawaii because of the covid rules. Yet, the number of visitors keeps growing. Perhaps these comments don’t actually reflect potential tourists but are merely people who have a need to sound off and have found an easy venue.

    I appreciate the information that BOH provides, even if it has a definite slant every now and then (what doesn’t?)

    1. You can not tell me that the numbers that you say “continue to grow” are any where near the pre-covid years. People have a right to make whatever comments they choose, as long as they are within the parameters of the sites guidelines. Hawaii is still part of the United States of America! Or have you forgotten that?

  4. Hi Thanks again for your valiant attempt top keep us updated on the requirements for travel to Hawaii. So for clarification, my conclusion is that the current requirement either single dose /or Covid test 72 hours in advance of flying will work. The family does no travel until July, but some of our teenagers got Covid and are reluctant to get the Booster.

    Thanks again, Mark Z

    1. Hi Mark.

      That’s either “primary” dose or 72 hour testing per specific requirements of Hawaii Safe Travels. For now.


  5. With all of the uncertainly regarding Safe Travel requirements I would think that the State loses quite a bit in taxes from people, and businesses who would be big spenders who decide pick other locations for their events,( A travel agent told me that early months of the year are very busy for bookings, so Hawaii may miss a big opportunity for $$)..
    If they don’t cancel Ironman in October, which reportedly brings in thousands of people, I wonder how they’ll handle that.

  6. We flew into Honolulu Jan 25 and came to Maui 5 days later. We fly back to MN Feb 8. We jumped through many hoops to get here. We are both vaxxed & boosted and are fine with whatever safety measures Hawaii has. It’s a pandemic! People need to deal with it.

  7. Aloha. Dave from Seattle area here. We were in the Kona area recently, followed all the requirements (which were very similar to where we live) and still had a very nice time. Yes, we are looking forward to post-pandemic days, would love to shed the masks, but will respect the local guidance that is in place. Aloha all

  8. Why can’t the Safe Travel Program pull data from the National Vaccination Database we got enter into when you got each shot??? Seems like a simple program change could accomplish this. This still needs to be done to prepare for another variant that will eventually occur because of the unvaccinated in worldwide.

    1. Read this and you’ll understand why that won’t work:

      If Hawaii wants to require three shots instead of two, then just add a further entry for the third shot to be entered by the traveler for the quarantine exemption request on safe travels.

      And the the fourth shot, fifth shot, and so on. Or if shots expire every 6 months, then just your most recent two shots. Or maybe just unplug it.

  9. This kind of chaos is exactly where we’re having so many problems with tourism. We need to fully open up like Florida has and start pulling in the tourism industry again. If we don’t open up our economy is going to be in even more trouble than it is now.

  10. We were just in maui for the past two weeks and the enforcement of the the vaccine / booster requirement to sit in a restaurant was very lax anyway. If they wanted to see a Vax card… they still didn’t require ID… so the pic of the card could have been of anyone’s card. Employees that did check seemed to be annoyed doing it. Kihei actually the strictest area of the island from what we experienced.

  11. The current visitors do not want to follow any of Maui County’s Covid mandates.
    They do not understand that Maui has one hospital with at serves 3 islands. They feel no responsibility. No social distancing, trespassing and maskless. Even other travellers are complaining. Aloha also means goodbye 🌺

    1. I’m sorry to hear that some visitors continue to disregard and disrespect the mandates in place that help to keep the residents of Maui, and the other islands, safe and healthy. It’s a privilege for those lucky enough to have the financial resources and the time to travel to Hawaii. There are many other beautiful places that people can choose to visit. So if you are angered by these restrictions, my suggestion would be to postpone your vacation to Hawaii until COVID is a non-issue.


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