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Hawaii requires travelers to receive COVID booster shots to be ‘fully vaccinated’

Governor David Ige said the new rule will not take effect for at least two weeks.

Hawaii will require visitors to the state to receive a COVID-19 vaccine enhancer if they want to skip quarantine.

Currently, according to the rules of the state's "Safe Travels" program, travelers who do not want to be quarantined for five days must either be fully vaccinated - meaning two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine or one shot of Johnson & Johnson vaccine - or get a negative COVID-19 test within a day after the trip

However, the program changes the definition of "fully vaccinated" to include booster shots, Gov. David Ige announced at a news conference last week.

This means that fully vaccinated travelers who have not received a booster shot will be quarantined in Hawaii for five days.

Ige said changes to the program will not happen for at least two weeks so people traveling to Hawaii can adjust their plans accordingly.

"We know that society needs time to respond to that, so we need to make sure at least two weeks that those who may not be up to date can go, to have the opportunity to go and get vaccinated," if they need it. "he said, according to Hawaii News Now.

During the news conference, Ige also said he talked to mayors and other local leaders about requiring booster shots to eat at restaurants and participate in other activities and events. He said, however, that he would leave this decision to the individual counties.

Last month, Maui Mayor Michael Victorino revealed that booster shots would be required for locals to be considered fully vaccinated.

The rule was supposed to take effect on January 8, but was delayed until January 24, so people have time to plan booster shots, KHON 2 reported.

This move comes as the Hawaii Tourism Authority announced that the Safe Travels program would undergo several changes, including reducing the mandatory quarantine period for unvaccinated travelers without a 10-day negative COVID-19 test, according to updated Centers for Disease Control and prevention guidelines.

In addition, visitors will no longer be required to complete an online questionnaire 24 hours prior to arrival to receive a QR code.

The governor's office did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment.


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