With the announcement of Governor Ige’s plan to allow for inter-island residents to travel through a vaccine passport program, it comes at an opportune time for many, including local businesses that operate on multiple islands, residents traveling to see their friends and loved ones, and families taking a much-needed staycation to support our local economy. As Hawaii continues to stay on track to inoculate millions of residents and nationally reaching millions more, a vaccine passport program will serve to complement the existing Safe Travels program of requiring a 10-day mandatory self-quarantine and pre-travel testing option.
Future development of the Safe Travels program, system, and processes along with the vaccine passport could pave the way for domestic travel in the summer and then international travelers when health officials say it is safe to do so.
A thoughtful idea, stemming from a conversation with a legislator highlighted that the size and scope of ideas should not be limited to short term solutions, but also the ability to adapt by broadening and integrating the vaccination passport for other non-travel uses such as accommodations, hotels, or restaurants. For instance, eating in a restaurant and having to write your name and contact information on a piece of paper for contract tracing could be a thing of the past by allowing businesses to scan your vaccine passport. This is just one of many possibilities but, of course, the devil is in the details. The point is, we are forced to reinvent how we do business, and this is an opportunity to explore new ideas, develop podcasts and webinars on trends and marketing opportunities, and augment best-practices unique to Hawaii.