Hawaii Announces COVID Vaccine Passport Program for Inter-Island Travel

Starting next month, Hawaii will allow residents who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to bypass the state’s pre-travel tests and quarantine for flights between the islands.

Why does it matter: Hawaii is the second US state to launch a “vaccination check” scheme after New York, notes the AP. Many companies see these “vaccine passports” as the key to getting back to normal, but some Republican governors have taken steps to block them.

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Of importance: The American Civil Liberties Union said that if vaccine passports were exclusively digital, it would “increase inequality”, excluding people who do not have phones. He wants them to be “mainly paper-based, decentralized and protect privacy”.

  • Governor David Ige (D) told a news conference on Tuesday that Hawaiians could use paper records for the program and that the state was working with private companies that would access people’s records to ensure protection of privacy.

What they are saying: Ige noted that Hawaii’s number of coronavirus cases and mortality rates were among the lowest in the U.S.

  • Ige said the lifting of travel restrictions for fully vaccinated people “does not apply to trans-Pacific travelers at this time,” but officials are working to expand the scheme to other travelers later.

Go deeper: Vaccine passports for work

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