Why Hawaii’s governor is hesitant to loosen travel restrictions for vaccinated tourists

HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii’s governor has said he is cautious about loosening air travel restrictions for people who have received a coronavirus vaccine, while stressing that new virus variants are not widespread in the state.

Democratic Gov. David Ige said Monday that researchers are still unclear about whether the vaccine hampers virus transmission.

“Until the science (tells) us that those who are vaccinated cannot carry the virus and, I think most important, do not transmit it to other people, I think it would be irresponsible to say that those vaccinated can travel about freely,” Ige said.

Ige’s comments contradicted Lt. Gov. Josh Green, who said last week that changes could be in store for Hawaii’s Safe Travels program for people who show they have been vaccinated.

The program requires visitors and returning residents to receive coronavirus tests before arrival to avoid a mandatory 10-day quarantine.

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