The state of Hawaii is considering the adoption of a “proof-of-vaccination requirement for inter-island travel” (a COVID-19 vaccine passport).
“I would love to pilot it in mid-April with the cards at least for inter-island travel,” Hawaii Lt. Gov. Josh Green said Tuesday to KHON-TV.
He also said that state authorities are looking to develop an app to verify traveler vaccination with a local developer.
Green tried to assure Hawaiians that the passport would not unduly violate privacy:
“They would be able to verify the health record, they would then encrypt it so people can’t steal someone’s health record. Although really, all it is is whether you got vaccinated or not and your name and the date it occurred.”
Green did not go into more details on the proposed app, but it seems probable it would be like the “vaccine passports” being implemented in New York.
“Think of it as a mobile airline boarding pass, but for proving you received a COVID-19 vaccination or negative test. Businesses and venues can scan and validate your pass to ensure you meet any COVID-19 vaccination or testing requirements for entry. Along with your Pass, you’ll be asked to show a photo ID that shows your name and birth date to verify that the Pass belongs to you. Adults may hold passes for accompanying minors,” NY state authorities described the app.
They did say that “alternative proof of vaccination” (cards, for instance) would also be acceptable.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis professed strong opposition to the idea of vaccine passports at a Monday press conference, saying, “It’s completely unacceptable for either the government or the private sector to impose upon you the requirement that you show proof of vaccine to just simply be able to participate in normal society.”
Hawaiian tourism officials, however, have reacted positively to the proposed vaccine passport. Mufi Hannemann, president and CEO of the Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association, stated, “That’s what we see, families that haven’t seen each other for a while that live in Kauai, Maui, Hawaii Island, Oahu. And this will allow that kind of travel to take place without the additional cost of being tested.”
Hawaiian Gov. David Ige will make the final decision on whether or not to implement a “vaccine passport” travel requirement, “in consultation with island mayors.”