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Travel Restrictions to Decrease

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

After a few weeks of cluster cases that skyrocketed the island’s COVID-19 numbers, Molokai had no new cases recorded by the Dept. of Health last week. As of Sunday, island remained at 79 total cases since the pandemic began.

Last week, Gov. David Ige announced significant changes coming to the state’s Safe Travels based on percentages of individuals vaccinated in Hawaii. New benchmarks for travel restrictions being dropped have been established.

As of June 15, all restrictions for traveling inter-county within the state will end. As of June 4, 52 percent of Hawaii residents are vaccinated, according to Ige. In addition, travelers entering the state who have been vaccinated in Hawaii can bypass quarantine without a negative pre-travel test, starting June 15.

At 60 percent fully vaccinated, the state will accept proof of vaccination from mainland states. When 70 percent of Hawaii residents are fully vaccinated, Ige said all travel restrictions will be dropped.

“The easing of travel restrictions is a direct result of our robust vaccination rate, and a community that sacrificed and did what it had to do over the past year and a half to stop the spread of COVID-19,” said Gov. Ige. “We need to push hard now so we can get to the point where Safe Travels is no longer needed to keep the people of Hawaii safe.”

Between May 4 and June 4, trans-Pacific travelers arriving to Maui at the Kahului Airport had to undergo a rapid post-travel COVID-19 test upon arrival. The County of Maui reported that 110,000 individuals underwent the test, which resulted in 30 positive antigen test results. Those who tested positive took a secondary NAAT test, of which five were confirmed as positive. Positive cases were referred to the Dept. of Health Maui District Health Office. The program ended last week.

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