Dreaming of visiting the islands of Hawaii? You may need a COVID-19 booster shot for that.
Hawaii state Governor David Ige recently told local media that his administration is looking at changing the definition of “fully vaccinated” from two doses of an approved COVID-19 vaccine to three.
if applied, those who have not had their booster shots would be required to isolate for five days upon arrival in Hawaii at their own expense, CNN reports.
Tourism in Hawaii is currently regulated through the state's Safe Travels program, which allows people to upload their proof of vaccination to an online portal ahead of their flight.
"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," Ige told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, the state's largest newspaper.
If a booster shot requirement is introduced, travellers and hospitality businesses would have several weeks’ notice, Ige told the newspaper, adding that he’s also considering mandating booster shots for public events and gatherings.
Currently, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not have any official guidance on COVID-19 booster shots.
The requirement is, however, already starting to surface in some areas of the cruise industry.
Last week, three companies – Germany-based luxury line Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, small ship adventure cruise line UnCruise Adventures and river cruise specialist Grand Circle Cruise Line – posted notices confirming COVID-19 booster shots would be required of guests on future sailings.
Countries such as Singapore, Austria, Croatia, Switzerland and Greece have also previously announced their intent to make booster doses mandatory for travellers.