Ige: Boosters not required for Safe Travels program

COVID-19 booster shots will not be required by the Safe Travels Hawaii program, Gov. David Ige’s office announced today.

“In making this decision, we considered declining COVID-19 case counts in Hawaii, the continental U.S. and Europe,” Ige said in a statement. “Hospitalizations have also dropped. In addition, we looked at Hawaii’s robust vaccination rates and the continued push by businesses and organizations to get their employees vaccinated and boosted for the safety of their families and the community.


“At this time, we will also maintain the indoor mask mandate and other rules that have helped us manage this pandemic while reopening the economy.”

Incident Commander for COVID-19 Response Gen. Kenneth S. Hara said the decision not to include booster shots in Safe Travels requirements was a collaborative one.

“We made this decision in close coordination with the four county mayors, the Department of Health, and in collaboration with Hawaii’s travel, hotel, tourism, transportation, retail and restaurant industries,” said Gen. Hara. “I am exceptionally pleased that case counts, and hospitalizations are trending downward and am hopeful that conditions continue to improve so that the state can eventually end Safe Travels and all COVID-19 related restrictions.”

Safe Travels Hawaii will remain in place at this time, requiring passengers arriving in Hawaii to show proof of their vaccination status in order to bypass testing or quarantine requirements.

For more information, go to: https://travel.hawaii.gov

The state Department of Health is currently working on criteria and conditions that would allow the state to eventually end Safe Travels Hawaii, according to Ige’s office. Until that time, the state is using American Rescue Plan Act funds to support the program.

“While booster shots are not required for the Safe Travels program right now, they continue to be very effective in preventing severe illness from COVID-19,” Dr. Libby Char, DOH director, said in a statement. “New research shows a third shot of a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine is 90 to 94 percent effective in keeping people out of the hospital. Omicron case counts are dropping but we don’t know if or when we may see another surge in cases of COVID-19. Getting vaccinated and boosted now will help to prevent you from becoming seriously ill. The Department of Health recommends you get vaccinated and get boosted today.”

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