The State of Hawaii has been working on a system for vaccinated people to travel within the islands quarantine-free.
The long-expected vaccine passports could be ready as soon as March 1, stated Lt. Gov. Josh Green.
Immunized travelers will be given an electronic code that will allow them to move around the islands freely without the need to self-isolate for ten days.
At the moment, visitors and returning residents must present proof of a negative COVID-19 test no older than 72 hours before departure to avoid the mandatory quarantine.
The program will probably start with essential workers. Then, it will expand to the general public and international tourists.
Green hopes that all vaccinated residents of Hawaii will be given the immunity passports by April 1.
According to him, the program will help restore Hawaii’s economy and tourism quickly, and the island state could see the number of daily visitors increase already by fall.
In May 2019, Hawaii saw between 26,885 and 35,487 visitors a day. Whereas in the first two weeks of February 2021, daily figures moved between 5,495 and 14,732.
The state expects the numbers to triple by then, to around 22,000 visitors a day.
On Monday, Gov. David Ige stressed that researchers are still unsure about whether or not vaccinated people can transmit the virus.
He mentioned that it would be irresponsible to allow vaccinated travelers to avoid the necessary tests and quarantine at this point.
He would rather wait for the health officials to confirm that immunized people won’t transmit the virus.
Additionally, the spread of coronavirus is triggered by the new, more contagious COVID-19 strains.
So far, Hawaii has reported two cases of the U.K. variant. Also, it has recorded ten cases of the Danish mutation.
The good news is that the presence of the strains on the islands is yet scarce, according to Ige.
Hawaii has delivered over 260,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses so far. Green forecasts that the figures will rise to 400,000 by the time the program starts.
According to him, Hawaii is on the right plan to roll out the immunity cards and bring back tourism.