Hawaii Vaccination Exemption + forthcoming 'Booster' requirement for Travel
Information regarding the COVID-19 Vaccine & Booster requirements for Hawaii Travelers
Last Updated: January 27, 2022, at 8:30 pm HST
We continue to receive numerous inquiries about Hawaii's policy regarding travelers who have been vaccinated, and who now potentially have received a 'booster' shot as well. What are the current rules and requirements? What will the rules be regarding 'boosters' in Hawaii? When do these new rules for vaccinated travelers take effect? We are continuing to monitor this topic closely, and we have included everything we currently know below.
'Boosters' to likely soon be required for Hawaii 'Safe Travels' vaccine exemption
We're continuing to hear updates that point to Governor Ige implementing a requirement for 'Boosters' to be considered "fully vaccinated." This change would affect the 'Safe Travels' Hawaii vaccine exemption when it takes effect. As noted below, Maui is already implementing a 'booster' policy effective January 24th, for select establishments. Governor Ige has previously said he would provide at least two weeks' notice before implementing the changes.
According to the latest from Beat of Hawaii, this rule change on 'boosters' is likely to occur on February 18, 2022. Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi suggested last week that February 18th was the 'target date' at this time. An announcement from Governor Ige would thus come around February 4, 2022, or earlier. According to khon2, Gov. Ige, on January 25th, confirmed a booster shot requirement will soon be added to Hawaii's Safe Travels Program. We'll keep you posted...
Recently, Governor Ige said details were still forthcoming, and that state officials were closely following guidance from the CDC. Currently, the CDC has not updated its definition of 'fully vaccinated' to include boosters, and this may be the primary hold-up for Hawaii officials as well.
Governor Ige previously indicated in early January 2022, he would like to require boosters for out-of-state travelers to avoid the state's mandatory 5-day quarantine. Under current 'Safe Travel' Hawaii rules, all travelers who have received two doses of an approved COVID vaccine or can properly show a negative COVID test, from a Hawaii trusted partner, prior to departure, do not have to isolate when they arrive in Hawaii.
We'll keep this page updated accordingly with 2022 updates.
Oahu & Maui have implemented a 'Vaccine Pass' program
Now required for dining-in at all Oahu & Maui establishments
On Oahu, as of September 13, 2021, all customers wishing to enter Oahu restaurants, bars, gyms, and other Oahu establishments will need to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test; part of the city of Honolulu's Safe Access Oahu program.
On Maui, as of September 15, 2021, vaccine cards will be required to dine indoors at Maui restaurants. Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino has said, "Customers will be required to show vaccination, vaccination cards, or some sort of verification. And those who don't have it, if they have outside seating, they're allowed to sit outside and/or takeout."
More details about these new programs can be found on our page for Hawaii Vaccine Passports →
Maui now requires a 'booster' to be considered "fully vaccinated"
As of January 24, 2022, a new rule has gone into effect on Maui. Currently, this rule only applies to gyms, bars, and restaurant patrons. There will be no impact or changes to the 'Safe Travels' arrival requirements for Maui visitors. We'll closely monitor this situation and keep you posted. County director Sandy Baz has said the mayor is changing "the definition of fully vaccinated to include a booster shot for those that are eligible."
Am I required to have received the vaccine 'booster' to be considered "fully vaccinated"?
At this time, as of mid-January 2022, no - there have been no official changes to the Safe Travels program regarding 'boosters.' However, in mid-February 2022, we do expect this to potentially become a requirement and advise travelers to plan accordingly.
Currently, a 'booster' is required to visit indoor establishments on Maui - as the county updated its definition of "fully vaccinated" to include 'boosters' beginning January 24, 2022.
What if I've received the vaccine? Am I exempt from quarantine? What Hawaii policies apply to vaccinated travelers?
The state of Hawaii has now begun allowing trans-Pacific travel for vaccinated passengers (those vaccinated within the U.S.), without requiring a pre-travel test or quarantine. More information, including our new Hawaii travel and vaccine FAQ section, is included below.
As of January 27, 2022, Hawaii had a statewide vaccination rate of 74.6%, with 33.8% 'boosted,' according to local state data from the Hawaii Department of Health.
For those who are not vaccinated, for children over the age of five who have not been vaccinated, or for those who are traveling from outside the U.S., the current Hawaii Travel Restrictions and pre-travel testing requirements will remain in place until further notice.
Phase 1 - Vaccination Cards + 'Safe Travels' to kick off vaccinated travel
Began June 15, 2021, for Trans-Pacific travelers vaccinated in Hawaii
Vaccine Passports are not yet ready for launch, at least according to Hawaii officials. So that leaves the option of using the vaccination cards everyone is issued when receiving their first/second dose. Travelers who want to participate in the vaccination exemption will be required to have completed vaccination at least 15-days prior to visiting Hawaii. Additional information is on our Hawaii Vaccine / Health passport page, including the steps to take to bypass testing & quarantine requirements.
Phase 2 - Hawaii Vaccination "Passport" travel has now begun
Began July 8, 2021 for those vaccinated in the U.S.
Under the new rules as of July 8, 2021, vaccinated travelers (currently only those vaccinated within the U.S.) will be able to upload an image of their vaccination card to the Safe Travels portal and then be given the green light to bypass quarantine. All travelers will additionally need to show their vaccination card upon arrival in Hawaii for further inspection. Additional information and the official steps to take for the vaccine exemption are included on our Hawaii Vaccine / Health passport page.
Be sure to also review each of the frequently asked questions in our new Hawaii travel and vaccine FAQs section below.
Phase 3 - Updated International Traveler Rules
Began Nov. 8, 2021; updated Dec. 6, 2021 - new federal entry requirements
New rules and requirements went into place last year, for both International Travelers and for U.S. citizens flying from International Destinations when the State of Hawaii began welcoming international travelers under the new federal requirements.
NON-U.S. citizens traveling directly to Hawaii from an international destination must present BOTH a vaccination record AND a negative COVID-19 test result (NAAT or antigen) within three days (within one day beginning December 6, 2021) of boarding a flight to the United States.
- Details and thorough information on Hawaii's pre-travel testing for both trans-Pacific and inter-island travel can be found on our Hawaii COVID Testing Requirements & Test Procedures →
- More information on the current COVID-19 rules & restrictions, including for each Hawaiian county/island, can be found on our updated page for Hawaii Travel Restrictions & Rules →
- Detailed information on Hawaii's use of Health/Vaccine passports can be found in our article: Hawaii Vaccine & Health Passport Travel →
- A complete list of the trusted travel partners, currently approved by the state of Hawaii, for pre-travel testing can be found here: Hawaii Trusted Travel Partners & Test Costs →
- Now that Hawaii has reopened to travelers with restrictions, we've created an article to cover everything you need to know about What is Open, Closed, or Reopening Soon →
- For news, updates, and headlines related to COVID-19 and travel within and to Hawaii, we've created a new page dedicated to the day-by-day updates: Hawaii COVID-19 Travel News & Headlines →
Hawaii Vaccine Exemption FAQs
We've collected some of the most commonly asked questions about traveling to Hawaii with a vaccine exemption and we've answered them below. Our information and data come from official sources, including the Hawaii Department of Health website(s), the official Hawaii COVID-19 website, and updated press releases from the Governor and Mayor's offices within the Hawaii government. These FAQ items will be updated as necessary to ensure they remain current to recent events. Mahalo!
What about children & minors who have not been vaccinated?
At this time, to the best of our knowledge, children ages five (5) and older who are not vaccinated will still need to follow the current pre-travel testing procedures. This means any child not vaccinated, including children ages 5-17 who have not been vaccinated, would be subject to the 72-hour pre-travel test timeline as well. We will continue to monitor this situation closely and update this page and our mailing list accordingly if anything changes.
What if my vaccination card has my maiden name instead of my married name as seen on my ID?
Several travelers have asked if your vaccine card has your maiden name, and not your married name as seen on your ID, what steps should you take? A traveler in the comments section of our vaccination page informed us they have called into the 'Hawaii Safe Travels' helpline and the official response was, "to bring your marriage license as proof," in addition to your physical vaccination card.
What about international travelers until November 8, 2021?
At this time, the July 8th vaccine exemption is only for those vaccinated within the U.S. and U.S. territories. All international travelers will still need to take a pre-travel test as outlined on our testing page, from a trusted international travel partner. At this time, we do not have a set date for when international travelers may also be included in the vaccine exemptions that Hawaii has currently established for travelers. We'll continue to monitor this situation closely and update this page accordingly once we have more information to share.
November 2021 Update: Beginning November 8, 2021, the International Travel Rules will come inline with the new Federal U.S. Requirements for International Travelers. Please see our Travel Restrictions page and the section for International Travel for full details.
I uploaded my vaccination source document on Safe Travels, but it then warns me that it couldn't be verified with DOH's database. Does this mean I cannot travel?
No, it means your card will be manually screened at the airport. See Safe Travels Help for more detail.
How can I check if my card was uploaded?
Go to your Safe Travels account, go to Travel Homepage -> Apply Exemption/Exception from Quarantine -> COVID Vaccine Exception.
What if I was not issued a CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card when I got my vaccine?
Hawaii is ONLY accepting the "CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card" or a printout or certificate from the Vaccine Administration Management System or the DOD DD Form 2766C or a digital validation by a Digital Health Pass Partner or proof of vaccination (source document) provided by a medical provider or authorized COVID-19 vaccination administrator with the required information. If you did not receive one of these, you need to return to the location or provider that administered your vaccination and get one of the accepted documents.
What if the name on my CDC Vaccination Record Card doesn’t match my identification?
The name on the CDC Vaccination Record Card should match the name on the traveler's identification. However, a shortened, modified variation or contraction of a traveler's name will be accepted if it can be cross-referenced with the birthdate on the CDC Vaccination Record Card and the traveler's identification.
What if my first shot was Pfizer and my second shot was Moderna? Is this allowed?
Yes, a combination of U.S.-approved vaccines is acceptable.
I received my first dose in one state and my second dose in another state. When I upload my vaccination documentation, which state do I select?
Please select "HI – Hawaii" if either dose was in Hawaii. If neither dose was given in Hawaii, select the State/U.S. Territory where you received your second dose.
What if I received my first vaccination dose in a foreign country and my second vaccination dose in the United States, do I qualify for the vaccination exception program?
No, you must be fully vaccinated in the U.S. or U.S. Territory.
I or my child was vaccinated as part of a clinical trial. Will our trial vaccination cards be accepted?
Only the vaccine trials that are currently under EUA in the United States (Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson) are acceptable as long as the provided cards contain the required information. Other vaccine trials such as AstraZeneca are not acceptable at this time.
I am in the military and have been fully vaccinated on-base overseas. Will I qualify for the vaccination exception?
If you are flying from any U.S. state or territory to Hawaii with a CDC card or DOD DD Form 2766C showing two shots of Moderna or Pfizer or one shot of Johnson & Johnson plus 15 days even if administered on-base overseas, you will qualify for the vaccination exception. If, however, you are flying to Hawaii on an international flight, you will not qualify for a vaccination exception.
Are passengers (U.S. citizens and non-citizens) arriving from international destinations who've taken one of the three vaccines currently being administered in the United States eligible to participate in the vaccine exception program? If not, when will international locations be considered?
At this time, travelers arriving from international destinations are not eligible to participate in the Safe Travels Vaccination Exception Program.
The Bottom Line Currently...
Ultimately, the decisions regarding the future of vaccine travel are now in Hawaii Governor David Ige's hands. We'll continue to monitor this situation closely and post updates accordingly.
- Governor David Ige has announced that as of June 15, 2021, traveling inter-island within Hawaii will no longer require a pre-travel test and there are now no quarantine requirements for inter-island travel. There are currently no restrictions flying between islands within Hawaii.
- As of July 8, 2021, Hawaii has begun allowing trans-Pacific travelers vaccinated within the U.S. to travel to Hawaii via the Safe Travels program, without a pre-travel test. Proof of vaccination will be required as outlined on our Hawaii Vaccine Passport page.
- We'll continue to monitor this situation closely and post updates accordingly here on this page.
Hawaii's re-opening has honestly been an evolving process with numerous changes and ongoing updates. Unfortunately, we recognize that this causes confusion to potential travelers, and we are continuing to monitor this situation closely. We will provide additional pertinent vaccination updates here regularly, from official sources, on this page as additional information becomes available to us. We also encourage our readers to sign up for our 'Hawaii Travel Update' emails to receive pertinent information on all of the recent developments regarding travel to Hawaii, including vaccination policy updates.
Feel free to post your related travel comments in the discussion section below. Additionally, we've created a new page dedicated to the day-by-day updates that are occurring with Hawaii's reopening process: Hawaii COVID-19 Travel News & Headlines →
Will travelers still need or have to wear masks?
Lt. Governor Josh Green has continued to stress that while he anticipates vaccinations will be a means to successfully reopen Hawaii's economy again (without quarantine restrictions), that Hawaii will continue to maintain its indoor mask policies and mandate, along with other health safety measures. The Lt. Governor has indicated he sees this being the case for the foreseeable future or until there is herd immunity within the Hawaiian Islands, as currently, Hawaii officials won't know whether someone has received the vaccine or not; which is not required.
Update I: On May 13, 2021, according to local and national news, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new guidelines that recommend easing indoor mask-wearing guidance for fully vaccinated people, allowing them to safely stop wearing masks inside in most places. At this time, no official changes have been made to Hawaii's travel policies to reflect this recent change in guidance, and Hawaii's statewide mask mandate remains in effect, but we will monitor this situation closely and keep you posted with any updates as it relates to Hawaii travel.
Update II: On May 25, 2021, Governor Ige announced that masks are no longer required outdoors, and that ocean sports would again be allowed in Hawaii. The Governor also added the amended outdoor mask rules are effective immediately and apply to everyone, regardless of vaccination status. Masks are still required for all indoor activities ― across the board. Travelers and residents can read more on this story in the local news.
Will Hawaii ever require vaccinations for visitors?
What test is currently required to visit Hawaii?
The pre-testing travel program began on October 15, 2020
First, we should note that effective March 26, 2020, and until further notice, Hawaii Governor David Ige is mandating all visitors arriving in the Hawaiian Islands to self-quarantine for 5 days (number of required days changed on January 3, 2022). This means all passengers traveling to Hawaii (visitors and returning residents) must self-quarantine for 5 days following arrival. See our Hawaii Travel Requirements or Hawaii Travel Restrictions page for additional information on the current status of COVID-19 in Hawaii.
The pre-testing travel program, which started last October 15, 2020, effectively re-opened the islands to visitors, as long as they bring along proof of a negative NAAT test (nucleic acid amplification test), from a state-approved trusted testing partner and complete a State Travel and Health form (the health form requirement ends January 4, 2022) upon arrival within the state.
The negative test will need to have been conducted by a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) certified laboratory no more than 72 hours prior to the visitor's departure and will need to be an FDA-authorized NAAT test. Again, the test MUST come from a trusted partner at this time.
To reiterate, this test result must be confirmed prior to arrival in Hawaii and the visitor must present evidence of this test upon arrival. See our Hawaii Re-opening article for more information.
Additional Hawaii Resources
Information Disclaimer: Details and information on this page, including dates, may change on a day-by-day basis. While we will be making every effort to keep these pages relevant and up to date, the decision to travel is ultimately your own responsibility. Please travel safely and keep an eye on our Hawaii Travel Restrictions page for more information regarding COVID-19 and re-opening in Hawaii.