Hawaii is considering lifting quarantine rules for international travellers who have been vaccinated against COVID-19.
Currently, anyone visiting Hawaii must spend 10 days in self-isolation unless they can produce a negative COVID result within 72 hours of their arrival.
Visitors would be able to enter Hawaii and travel within its islands without quarantining as part of a “vaccine passport” system.
Hawaii will start the first phase of the program in March 2021.
It will allow vaccinated essential workers to travel around the islands without pre-arrival testing or quarantine.
By 1 April Hawaii aims to extend the program to vaccinated locals and travellers already in Hawaii.
Vaccinated international travellers will be welcome by 1 May. This date is dependant on the success of the first two stages.
Travellers will receive an electronic code as proof they have been vaccinated against COVID-19. These travellers will be able to bypass mandatory 10-day quarantine.
With the COVID vaccine currently being rolled out across Australia, Australian travellers could be part of Hawaii’s “vaccine passport” program.
While there is a current ban on international travel for Australians, borders could open sooner if COVID-19 vaccines prevent transmission.
“The key thing I think is going to impact on that decision, is going to be whether the evidence emerges about transmissibility, and how the vaccine protects against that,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in a Facebook Live segment hosted by News Limited.
“If it indeed does stop transmission between people, then that could be quite a game-changer, but that will not be evident for some time yet,” he said.
Australians remain cautious but hopeful about their future international travel plans.