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Hawaii may require all travelers to have COVID booster in order to be 'fully vaccinated' and skip quarantine

Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

All out-of-state Hawaii-bound travelers may soon be required to have a booster shot of a COVID-19 vaccine in order to be considered "fully vaccinated" and to skip quarantine — or provide proof of a negative coronavirus test before travel.

Under current rules, out-of-state travelers need only two doses of an approved COVID-19 vaccine or proof of a negative test in order to avoid having to self-quarantine after arrival.

What are the details?

A Monday report from ABC News stated that Hawaii is considering a requirement that its vaccinated out-of-state visitors receive a COVID-19 booster shot to be considered "fully vaccinated."

The state's "Safe Travels" program stipulates that out-of-state travelers who do not want to quarantine for five days must be either fully vaccinated or have a negative COVID-19 test within one day of traveling.

Last week, Hawaii Gov. David Ige (D) announced that the program's definition of "fully vaccinated" means to have a booster.

He added that a new booster shot requirement would afford travelers several weeks' notice in order to get their shots so as to avoid travel disruptions for those who have booked stays on the islands.

"We know that the community needs time to react to that, so we would have to provide at least two weeks for those who may not be up-to-date to go to have the opportunity to go and get vaccinated if they need to," he said of the change.

KHNL-TV reported that Ige is also talking with mayors about the possibility of requiring boosters for event and restaurant access.

The stations also reported that Ige is willing to make the possibility a mandate if Hawaii's hospitals became overrun and overwhelmed.

According to Fox News, Hawaii's rolling 14-day average of new COVID-19 cases increased to at least 3,705 over the weekend, up from approximately 2,595 at the start of the year.

At the time of this reporting, 75.2% of Hawaii's population is considered fully vaccinated under the state's current guidance.

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