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Hawaii will now not make booster shots necessary for travel

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Savieno
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source: nzherald.co.nz

Hawaii Gov. David Ige said Tuesday he will not mandate booster shots for travellers coming to the islands, an idea he said last week he was still considering.

"In making this decision, we considered declining COVID-19 case counts in Hawaii, the continental U.S. and Europe," Ige said in a statement. "Hospitalizations have also dropped."

Ige said he encourages people to get boosted and will keep his indoor mask mandate for public places.

Maui on Monday ended its booster mandate for businesses like bars, restaurants and gyms.

"We made this decision in close coordination with the four county mayors, the Department of Health, and in collaboration with Hawaii's travel, hotel, tourism, transportation, retail and restaurant industries," General Kenneth Hara, incident commander of the state's COVID-19 response, said in a statement.

Ige said concerns from the visitor industry were considered, but he said he made this decision on the health and safety of Hawaii residents and the efforts they are taking to get both vaccines and boosters.

State health director Dr Libby Char said even though booster shots are not required currently for travellers, they continue to be effective in reducing serious illness.

"Omicron case counts are dropping but we don't know if or when we may see another surge in cases of COVID-19. Getting vaccinated and boosted now will help to prevent you from becoming seriously ill," she said.

On Friday, the country announced plans to remove a newly imposed booster mandate that would require people to have their booster to eat inside restaurants and bars or use gyms.

Now, the county will only recommend people be boosted to take part in these activities. The reversal came after restaurant owners complained that it would lead to lower spending and increased cancellations, according to Maui Now.

In order to enter Hawaii, Americans returning from overseas must present a negative Covid-19 test taken no earlier than 24 hours before departure. International travellers must provide both a negative test that was taken within 24 hours of departure and proof of vaccination.

Currently, there are no pre-travel testing or other requirements needed for inter-county travel between the Hawaiian Islands.

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(@denor)
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This is relieving. I have a wedding in Hawaii soon and would not have time to get all 3 shots before departing

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