After simplifying Covid-related entry requirements a few days ago, Hawaii has complicated things a bit once more.
Governor David Ige has confirmed that in order for a visitor to be considered fully vaccinated against Covid-19, a booster shot will soon be expected. Under Hawaii's Safe Travels program, visitors who are not fully vaccinated must complete a five-day quarantine after getting to the islands.
The governor told Hawaii News Now that the new policy's implementation is at least two weeks away.
"We know that the community needs time to react to that, so we would have to provide at least two weeks for those who may not be up to date to go to have the opportunity to go and get vaccinated if they need to," Ige said.
The county of Maui previously announced plans to require proof of a vaccine booster to enter bars, restaurants, and other indoor spaces. That rule is set to go into effect January 24.
At this stage, Ige says he is leaving it up to local mayors to decide whether to add a booster requirement for entering businesses and events in their own communities. If the state's Covid caseload starts to overwhelm hospitals, however, Ige would consider creating a statewide mandate.
For more information about Hawaii's entry requirements, visit the website for the state's Safe Travels program.
Update: February 10, 2022:
On Feb. 8, Gov. Ige backtracked on his announcement with a tweet.
There has been much speculation about booster requirements for travelers arriving in Hawai'i. I want to emphasize that the program remains unchanged at this time and boosters will not be required for up-to-date status.— Governor David Ige (@GovHawaii) February 8, 2022
While it is not required – I do encourage you to get boosted or vaccinated. It’s one of the best defenses we have against COVID-19.— Governor David Ige (@GovHawaii) February 8, 2022