Hawaii Vaccination Passport

Hawaii Vaccination & Health Passports

Vaccine/Health Passport likely to be used for verification to travel

Last Updated: June 15, 2021, at 12:00 pm HST

The challenges of tracking and providing proof of vaccinations, from what will likely be countless providers/locations, will be a lot different than the current 'Safe Travels' program that helps track negative pre-travel testing. Previously, the U.S. DoD (Department of Defense) has also announced plans for a COVID-19 vaccination card to track individual vaccinations. Hawaii might use that method for verification of vaccine "passport" travel. The DoD has called its card the "simplest" method of tracking vaccinations while also saying, "Everyone will be issued a written card that they can put in their wallet that will tell them what they had and when their next dose is due. Let's do the simple, easy thing first. Everyone's going to get that."

Safe Travels Card Timeline

Below we've discussed the potential timeline & phases for when these Health & Vaccine passports might be implemented in Hawaii. The 'Safe Travels Card' (which appears to be the official moniker for the 'Hawaii vaccine passport') and, as expected, has been rolled out for testing to Hawaiian residents first. After thoroughly testing the program for interisland travel, trans-Pacific travelers from the U.S. and foreign countries will then be permitted to begin using the program once the state reaches a vaccination rate of 60%.

Inter-Island Travel Restrictions ended June 15, 2021

Inter-Island Travel changes, Vaccine Exemptions, and more
  • Governor David Ige has announced that beginning June 15, 2021traveling inter-island within Hawaii will no longer require a pre-travel test and there will be no quarantine requirements for inter-island travel. There will be no restrictions flying between islands within Hawaii.
  • Also beginning June 15, 2021, all travelers vaccinated within Hawaii will be able to travel via trans-Pacific routes without a pre-travel test. Beginning June 15th, travelers entering the state who have been vaccinated in Hawaii may bypass the quarantine without a pre-travel test.
  • Once the state of Hawaii reaches a 60% vaccination rate - Hawaii may begin allowing trans-Pacific travelers vaccinated on the mainland to travel to Hawaii via the Safe Travels program, without a pre-travel test. Proof of vaccination will be required in some form, details are forthcoming and there is currently no set date for this to begin.
  • As of June 14, 2021, Hawaii had a statewide vaccination rate of 55%, according to local state data from the Hawaii Department of Health.
  • Once the state of Hawaii reaches a 70% vaccination rate, the Safe Travels program may be able to conclude. We'll monitor this situation closely and continue to post updates accordingly here on this page.

Vaccine / Health Passports Introduction

Vaccine Passports also called Health Passports or the Hawaii Safe Travels Card, are mainly intended for international travel but may ultimately factor into Hawaii's 'Safe Travels' program too. Some of the companies that are currently being discussed in vaccination verification are VeriflyIATA Travel PassCLEAR Health Pass, CommonPass, and more recently, FirstVitals.

Based on the press conference that Governor Ige's office held in early April 2021, we feel fairly confident that CommonPass and/or CLEAR Health Pass, or a combination of both, will be used by travelers for vaccine verification in Hawaii. We will post additional information as it becomes available to us. More information on all of the potential vaccine passport partners is additionally included below.

Vaccination Cards + 'Safe Travels' will be Phase I

Vaccine Passports are not yet ready for launch, at least according to Hawaii officials. So that leaves the option of using the small white vaccination cards everyone is issued when receiving their first/second dose. According to Lt. Gov. Josh Green, a photo of travelers' vaccination cards will be required to prove vaccination. The photos will then need to be uploaded to the official Hawaii 'Safe Travels' website. As things appear now, upon arrival, all travelers will be required to additionally provide the actual vaccination card for inspection. Travelers who want to participate in the vaccination exemption will be required to have completed vaccination at least 14-days prior to visiting Hawaii.

At this time, uploading proof of vaccination and preventing fraud are the most significant challenges for the Safe Travels Card program. Initial reports suggest that potential Hawaii travelers will snap a photo of their paper CDC vaccination card and then subsequently enter their vaccine lot number and vaccination dates into the verification program. As we've noted above, the state of Hawaii is looking to partner with a software provider like CommonPass or CLEAR to verify the information is correct. In the future, both Hawaii residents and travelers alike will be able to ideally present the digital card instead of the CDC vaccine certificate to quickly waive the quarantine and minimize security processing times when visiting Hawaii.

John Derrick
Published on: 06-15-2021
Published by: John C. Derrick
Editor / Founder

Other destinations utilizing vaccination passports

Israel is already utilizing a domestic "Green Pass," which permits those vaccinated or recovered from COVID to participate in indoor dining, sports events, and shows, among other things. However, at this time, it has not yet been applied to travel.

Recently, New York launched the U.S.'s first vaccination passport. According to Beat of Hawaii,  the Excelsior Pass will be accepted at events and venues statewide. It also permits larger gatherings. The app is state-funded and is free. It produces a QR code to produce health status proof. Based on New York's vaccine registry, it is being linked to New York-approved testing partners. It too is not yet travel-specific at this time, however.

Editor's Note...

Hawaii's re-opening has honestly been an evolving process with numerous changes and ongoing updates. Unfortunately, we recognize that this causes confusion to potential travelers, and we are continuing to monitor this situation closely. We will provide additional pertinent vaccine & health passport updates here regularly, from official sources, on this page as additional information becomes available to us. We also encourage our readers to sign up for our 'Hawaii Travel Update' emails to receive pertinent information on all of the recent developments regarding travel to Hawaii, including vaccination policy and health passport updates.

Feel free to post your related travel comments in the discussion section below. Additionally, we've created a new page dedicated to the day-by-day updates that are occurring with Hawaii's reopening process: Hawaii COVID-19 Travel News & Headlines →

Summer 2021 Timeline for 'Vaccine Passports'

Hawaii Safe Travels Card rollout

Updated timeline has been proposed for Hawaii vaccination "passport" travel to begin

Phase 1 - May 11, 2021, for Inter-Island Travel (residents vaccinated in Hawaii)

In mid-December 2020, we initially received word that Lieutenant Governor Josh Green, who is both a physician and is in charge of Hawaii's Safe Travels program, had said that he would ask the governor to approve travel both trans-Pacific and interisland for anyone who has had a COVID vaccination without further requirements starting in early 2021. For travelers who choose not to get vaccinated, we believe the current restrictions, testing requirements, and quarantine policy are likely to remain in effect for most, if not all, of 2021 and potentially beyond.

As noted above, we believe the first phase of allowing vaccinated travelers to visit Hawaii, and bypass the testing and quarantine requirements, will entail a combination of the current 'Safe Travels' program combined with providing evidence of your vaccination card issued when you received your COVID-19 vaccine.

As of June 15, 2021, all travelers vaccinated within Hawaii may also now bypass the pre-travel trans-Pacific test when flying to Hawaii from the U.S. mainland. See below on this page for full details on this program.

Phase 2 - A 60% statewide Hawaii vaccination rate is the new target for trans-Pacific Vaccine Passport travel to begin

During a news conference in early June 2021, Governor Ige indicated the state is waiting for a 60% vaccination rate before trans-Pacific travelers will be able to utilize Health/Vaccine passports for travel to Hawaii.  Governor Ige has said that Hawaii state officials are currently focused on getting shots into Hawaii residents. 

As of June 15, 2021, Hawaii had a statewide vaccination rate of 55%, according to local state data from the Hawaii Department of Health.

Ultimately, the latest news continues to suggest that vaccine/health passport travel will begin in three phases; which we've outlined below.

Phases to Hawaii Vaccine / Health Passport Travel

  1. First, inter-island travel will be permitted for vaccinated travelers, with the Governor's approval. This phase officially began on May 11, 2021, initially only for Hawaii residents vaccinated in Hawaii.
  2. Second, the inter-island travel rules will be expanded to all travelers, including non-residents. This began June 15, 2021, when inter-island travel restrictions were dropped for all travelers. Additionally, those vaccinated within Hawaii can begin traveling on trans-Pacific routes without a pre-travel test.
  3. Finally, trans-pacific travel from the U.S. mainland and potentially abroad will be permitted. U.S. trans-Pacific travel, according to the Governor, could begin when Hawaii reaches a 60% vaccination rate. Initially, trans-Pacific travelers will likely need to utilize both the Safe Travels digital program plus show proof of their physical vaccine card upon arrival. Details are forthcoming and we'll keep you posted.

When Hawaii reaches a statewide vaccination rate of 70%, the Safe Travels program and all related Hawaii travel restrictions will theoretically end.

Latest CDC guidance indicates domestic travel can resume normally

On April 2, 2021, the CDC finally released its recommendations for vaccinated persons in regards to travel. Their new guidance states, "Fully vaccinated people can resume domestic travel and do not need to get tested before or after travel or self-quarantine after travel." At this time, this change in CDC guidance has NOT altered Hawaii's policies for travelers. We will continue to monitor this situation and provide updates accordingly. We do expect the state of Hawaii to make some changes in light of this new information.

The Bottom Line Currently...
  • At a news conference on June 4, 2021, Governor David Ige announced that beginning June 15, 2021traveling inter-island within Hawaii will no longer require a pre-travel test and there will be no quarantine requirements for inter-island travel. There will be no restrictions flying between islands within Hawaii.
  • Also beginning June 15, 2021, all travelers vaccinated within Hawaii will be able to travel via trans-Pacific routes without a pre-travel test. Beginning June 15th, travelers entering the state who have been vaccinated in Hawaii may bypass the quarantine without a pre-travel test. Additional information is included here.
  • Once the state of Hawaii reaches a 60% vaccination rate - Hawaii may begin allowing trans-Pacific travelers vaccinated on the mainland to travel to Hawaii via the Safe Travels program, without a pre-travel test. Proof of vaccination will be required in some form, details are forthcoming and there is currently no set date for this to begin.
  • As of June 15, 2021, Hawaii had a statewide vaccination rate of 55%, according to the Hawaii Department of Health's local state data.
  • Once the state of Hawaii reaches a 70% vaccination rate, the Safe Travels program may be able to conclude. We'll monitor this situation closely and continue to post updates accordingly here on this page.

Who are the potential Vaccine Passport partners?

CommonPass, working together with The World Economic Forum, aims to restore travel with its secure and verified documentation of health status for travelers. The CommonPass program operates through Apple's Health app on iOS and CommonHealth for Android, and, according to its creators, it has already been connected to 230 U.S. health systems nationally. It functions as a scannable QR code that holds a passenger's test data or vaccine documentation and travel plans. The program, which is currently in trials through participating airlines (e.g., United), is not yet available to the public at this time. According to the latest news, it appears likely that CommonPass will be the company selected to aid Hawaii officials in vaccination verification.

CLEAR Health Pass, which we've included more information on here (via our COVID Testing page), is currently being used by passengers on both Delta and United flights traveling nonstop from LA International Airport (LAX) to Honolulu (HNL). Currently, these passengers are able to securely link their negative COVID-19 test results via CLEAR's Health Pass and verify their identity, making it simple for Hawaii officials to identify travelers approved to avoid the state's current mandatory 10-day quarantine. Currently, we believe an expansion of this program could be used for vaccination verification as well.

The International Air Transport Association (otherwise known as 'IATA') is also looking into developing an application to provide a standardized and global solution for vaccine travel. Additionally, the idea of an application, like IATA's or the CommonPass app noted above, that centralizes travelers' test results, health waivers, and eventual proof of vaccination is expanding in the United States. Two apps that aim to verify travelers' inoculation are taking off as verification for required test results and health waivers — with one expanding to five airlines' U.S. routes this month. Read more in the Washington Post.

Additionally, as recently as late March 2021, according to Beat of Hawaii, Lt. Governor Josh Green has said the state is working with First Vitals for vaccination verification purposes. Lt. Gov. Green said that First Vitals would verify health records and provide encryption for security purposes. As BoH points out though, the selection of this company is a seemingly odd juxtaposition provided that the company's home page access isn’t secure and their SSL (security) certificate has expired.

Alaska Airlines has announced they are currently working with VeriFLY, another platform used to verify identity and testing/vaccination status for international travelers. We can see this type of app being used alongside the current "pre-clear" program the airlines have established for Hawaii travel. VerifyFLY has previously said their "Design ensures the privacy of the individual and keeps the credentials and biometric data of the person on the device. *** This verifies that the passport belongs to the person in front of the phone and that the passport is genuine and has not been tampered with."

Quicklink Resources

Updated Rules for Travelers Vaccinated in Hawaii

Travelers may bypass pre-travel testing & quarantine starting June 15, 2021

  • All trans-Pacific travelers from the continental United States (CONUS) will have only one QR code or one Point of Entry (POE) beginning Tuesday, June 15, 2021.
  • Beginning June 15, there will no longer be any county screening, only the main CONUS screening at each airport in Hawaii.
  • Trans-Pacific CONUS (includes Alaska and US Territories) travelers who were fully vaccinated in Hawaii can qualify for an exception to quarantine without taking a pre-travel test.

What does this mean for Hawaii travelers?

  • Trans-Pacific CONUS travelers will only need one QR code even if they are arriving at one airport and connecting to another island.
    • The traveler will enter only their POE flight and receive one QR code.
    • Example: LAX -> HNL -> LIH, the traveler enters only the LAX -> HNL flight in their Safe Travels account. The resulting QR code will be scanned at HNL (unless pre-cleared prior to departure) which is their first POE, and travelers will use this on Kauai to rent a car, check into the hotel, participate in an activity, etc.
  • All Hawaii airports will be executing this POE scan for all arriving trans-Pacific flights.
  • Trans-Pacific CONUS travelers who were fully vaccinated in Hawaii – 2 shots of Pfizer or Moderna, or the single Johnson and Johnson shot – plus 14 days can upload their CDC vaccination card to their Safe Travels account to qualify for an exception to the 10-day quarantine without needing to take a pre-travel COVID test. At least one of the vaccination shots must have been taken in Hawaii. The CDC card must show the date of shot, manufacturer and lot number, and location where the shot was administered.

These changes are timed to coincide with the lifting of ALL inter-county and interisland travel restrictions. Beginning June 15, 2021, all interisland travelers will no longer be required to create a trip itinerary in Safe Travels for inter-county travel, and neither a pre-travel test nor proof of vaccination will be required.

Vaccine / Health passports on mobile phones

These mobile applications will be used to verify both our identity as well as testing and vaccination records. These will likely be accessible via QR code or similar means for airlines and appropriate travel authorities to quickly and easily scan. To date, various Airlines have been very involved in testing these vaccine/health passport apps.

The bottom line - how vaccination results get integrated into the Hawaii Safe Travels program isn’t yet apparent. We will continue to closely monitor this topic and provide more information as it becomes available to us on this page.

Hawaii COVID Restrictions

What is currently required to visit Hawaii?

The pre-testing travel program began last October 15, 2020

Effective March 26, 2020, and until further notice, Hawaii Governor David Ige is mandating all visitors arriving in the Hawaiian Islands to self-quarantine for 10 days. This means all passengers traveling to Hawaii (visitors and returning residents) must self-quarantine for 10 days following arrival. See our Hawaii Travel Restrictions page for additional information on the current status of COVID-19 in Hawaii.

The pre-testing travel program, which started last October 15, 2020, effectively re-opened the islands to visitors, as long as they bring along proof of a negative NAAT test (nucleic acid amplification test), from a state-approved trusted testing partner and complete a State Travel and Health form upon arrival within the state.

The negative test will need to have been conducted by a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) certified laboratory no more than 72 hours prior to the visitor's departure and will need to be an FDA-authorized NAAT test. Again, the test MUST come from a trusted partner at this time.

To reiterate, this test result must be confirmed prior to arrival in Hawaii and the visitor must present evidence of this test upon arrival. See our Hawaii Re-opening article for more information.

Stay Informed About Hawaii COVID-19 Info Receive the latest updates about Hawaii's re-opening, current restrictions, testing requirements, etc. with weekly email updates from GoUS Hawaii.



Information Disclaimer: Details and information on this page, including dates, may change on a day-by-day basis. While we will be making every effort to keep these pages relevant and up to date, the decision to travel is ultimately your own responsibility. Please travel safely and keep an eye on our Hawaii Travel Restrictions page for more information regarding COVID-19 and re-opening in Hawaii.

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