“I would love to pilot it in mid-April with the cards at least for inter-island travel,” Hawaii Lt. Gov. Josh Green told KHON-TV on Tuesday, referring to vaccination cards, which serve as one form of proof of having received a COVID-19 shot.
“I think that makes a lot of sense,” he added. “It would immediately empower probably about half of our travelers inside the islands to travel safely.”
Green also told the outlet that state authorities hope to work with a local developer to create an app that would verify that a traveler has been vaccinated.
“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 said.
Hawaii tourism officials have expressed support for the scheme.
“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,” said Mufi Hannemann, president and CEO of the Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association, according to KHON-TV.
The final decision about vaccine passports will be made by Hawaii Gov. David Ige, in consultation with island mayors.
Like a ‘Mobile Airline Boarding Pass’ for COVID-19
While Green did not provide more details about how the app would work, it could be similar to a vaccine passport app recently launched in New York State, called Excelsior Pass.
“Think of it as a mobile airline boarding pass, but for proving you received a COVID-19 vaccination or negative test,” is how New York state authorities described the app, with the idea being that a generated QR code could be printed or stored on smartphones, with participating businesses and venues then using a companion app to scan the code and verify vaccination status.
“Businesses and venues can scan and validate your pass to ensure you meet any COVID-19 vaccination or testing requirements for entry,” New York state authorities wrote. “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,” they added, noting that using the app is voluntary and that alternative proof of vaccination—such as cards—could be used. Read Full Article >