CDC Update Omitted Hawaii Travel Guidance

Officials Can’t Agree On Hawaii Travel Tests And Other New Rules

The state of Hawaii is looking at possible ways of adding new layers of precaution, including pre-travel testing of all travelers and requiring vaccination for a myriad of activities, including restaurants. There are big issues to address, including what will be considered legal, especially given today’s formal approval of the Pfizer vaccine. The state is closely watching the current surge in Covid and is preparing to take action as indicated. That came as yesterday’s caseload went to a new all-time high of nearly 900 cases in one day. Today was somewhat better, with 571 cases reported.

This is all about to shake out. In the meanwhile, we have more insights to share.

Why Hawaii is cautious about new travel restrictions at this time.

While Governor Ige has said little, Lieutenant Governor and gubernatorial hopeful Lieutenant Governor Green expressed concern yesterday about whether travel should be more restrictive. Many issues are playing into that caution, including:

1. Whether some further restrictions will be considered legal or could interfere with interstate commerce.

2. How to implement the next changes without damaging the all-important Hawaii travel industry at this still-precarious time.

3. Whether the current Hawaii travel boom will be self-limiting in any event. That could occur for multiple reasons, both as the slower fall season approaches and if travelers choose to avoid travel while the Delta Variant is still surging.

4. Whether the latest Covid variant could be peaking soon, at least in some areas, as was just indicated by former FDA head Scott Gottlieb. If that’s the case, then implementation of any new travel rules could be too late.

Green on reinstating pre-travel testing.

The lieutenant governor acknowledged that Hawaii’s pre-travel testing has been a safe and effective way to resume travel.

Green said Sunday, however, “I was recently asked why we can’t easily reinstate the safe travels pre-test requirements that my team developed last year. This is the reason: The CDC has taken the position that vaccinated travel is the safe approach and what they recommend, therefore the attorney general cannot defend the policy of mandating testing pre-arrival any longer. The best thing we can all do now is get vaccinated, avoid large gatherings and wear masks when indoors. Be concluded, “This week will be pivotal to the crisis.”

The state Attorney General’s office recently indicated it believes that legality doesn’t impact any of Hawaii’s Covid response methods.

Hawaii is waiting for the governor to respond officially one way or the other to last week’s Big Island request to implement pre-travel testing once again. If approved, that would apply to all travelers, vaccinated or not.

The state says it will give adequate notice to travelers.

Green said that Hawaii-bound vacationers could expect two weeks’ advance notice of any upcoming changes.

Regarding pre-travel testing returning, he said it “may be challenged legally because we are the only ones to have successfully done it, and vaccination status is the standard the CDC has been promoting.” That is the first time we are aware that he has mentioned the potential legal complications of returning to the testing protocol.

Vaccination-based admission is still in the works.

Green continues to assert that that is the direction the state is looking to go. Like New York, proof of vaccination may be required for restaurants and many other places. See Hawaii Vaccination Passports Coming Next To Restaurants. As regular Deb just commented, “If the state indeed requires vaccinations to eat in a restaurant or engage in an excursion, then that pretty much eliminates children from coming to the island. Nice way to treat the keikis.”

Domestic travel is still tracking ahead of 2019.

Since vaccination became accepted in place of testing in June, Hawaii travel has soared. Unfortunately, so has the cases of Covid. The state believes that those are largely unrelated to visitors and are likely from community spread associated with residents. Hawaii’s health department maintains that less than 2% of cases are related to visitors.


121 thoughts on “Officials Can’t Agree On Hawaii Travel Tests And Other New Rules”

  1. Aloha Heyward B,
    If accuracy is what you want address as to The Hawaiian Monarchy and how it actually ended up in American hands I would suggest a History book. The actions of America has been documented not only by the Queen who was imprisoned, but many of her subjects past and present. The entry of Hawaii as a State was not the wishes of the Hawaiian people.
    I did not enter this dialogue to do anything other than state the people who reside in these Islands are more than concerned about the lack of accountability as to this Variant entering our sphere.
    Having said this, please know that when I make a statement referring to fool’s, that statement is self explanatory and is not limited to any particular people’s. The fool is the fool who follows the fool is to suggest that anyone who chooses to ignore the crisis impacting our Islands and it’s people and blindly follow those only interested in the montary impact are indeed acting foolishly. This of course is my opinion and whomever the show may fit, have at it! I stand by what I have said, we need to stop accepting vaccination cards until there is a legitimate national/international data base in which to verify. Testing is also skewed as who is to say a person will not become infected within the 72 hrs before they enter. Nonetheless, short of isolation it appears to be the best option!

  2. Aloha Paul U,
    I can’t thank you enough for understanding and compassion for what we as residents are experiencing .
    Mahalo and keep your family and love ones safe!

  3. Aloha Hayward B,
    Your views are interesting although you should know not valid! We are called the Pacific Rim and contain the Pacific Fleet for a reason.
    Considering America, nor those who stole the lands have absolutely no interest in relinquishing the monetary gain, your words are fruitless and carry less value. Please know that the fool is the fool who follows the fool and contrary to what may be perceived, Hawaiians, nor those deemed local are fools.
    Aloha and stay safe

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