Green wants COVID rules for U.S. visitors updated before July 4 to avoid 'chaos'

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Jun. 22—Hawaii Lt. Gov. Josh Green is urging the state to commit to dropping its COVID-19 testing and quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated mainland visitors ahead of the Fourth of July weekend in order to avoid "chaos at the airports."

"It's just really important that Hawaii not get a black eye by being unclear, " said Green. He said the state should announce that the requirements will end July 1. If the state waits until after the holiday weekend, when Hawaii is expecting about 30, 000 visitors a day then "we are going to have a lot of confusion and a lot of large conflicts, " said Green.

But Ige was reticent to make such a commitment. The governor announced earlier this month that requirements for vaccinated domestic travelers would end once 60 % of Hawaii residents are fully vaccinated against COVID. As of today, that figure stood at 57 % of the population.

Ige said that his administration is monitoring the state's vaccination numbers and will make an announcement ahead of when the mainland travel requirements will be dropped to prepare incoming travelers. But he cautioned that the state's vaccination rate has been dropping.

"We do anticipate crossing that 60 % threshold, " said Ige. "It is hard to predict exactly when that would happen because of the fact that the pace of vaccinations is actually slowing and the number of vaccines administered in the last week is significantly lower than the number of vaccines administered, for example, two weeks ago."

Currently domestic travelers have to receive a negative COVID test from an within 72 hours of arriving in Hawaii, or quarantine for 10 days. When the requirement is dropped, travelers from the mainland, Alaska and U.S. territories will be able to upload their vaccination cards to the state's to avoid the testing and quarantine requirements.

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