Hawaii is looking at February 18 as a possible target date for adding a booster shot as a requirement to its Safe Travels Hawaii and Safe Access Oahu programs, Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi told KHON television.
Hawaii Gov. David Ige suggested as recently as a week ago that the booster would be added to the program adopted by the state to help stem the tide of COVID-19 transmission. That would also include any tourists visiting Hawaii.
“The targeted date for that is Feb. 18, we are going to look at that, we are going to look at that very carefully,” Blangiardi told KHON. “I did tell the governor that we would consider moving Safe Access Oahu in tandem, with that, a lot of this is going to depend on the booster level and where we are in the next couple of weeks.”
It appears that most Hawaiian officials are on board with adding the booster requirement.
In a statement, Hawaii County Mayor Mitch Roth told KHON: “Our administration has fiercely advocated for more robust COVID mitigation measures at our ports of entry since taking office in late 2020. We set a precedent by incorporating the state’s first post-arrival testing program at our airports through much of 2021 and have asked the governor to consider allowing us to reinstate that program through the delta and omicron surges. That said, we agree that ‘up-to-date’ should include an additional shot, if past the recommended window, but would furthermore be in favor of pre-travel testing for all – vaccinated or not. The pandemic has shown us that we can all spread the virus if we aren’t careful, and adequate testing has proven to be an excellent first line of defense for our community.”
Hawaii Safe Travels Administrator Sheri Kajiwara said tourists with COVID-19 vaccination and a negative test within 72 hours of arrival in Hawaii can avoid the quarantine requirement.