In the latest air travel developments, Hawaii announces Phase 1 of its plan to open up to vaccinated travelers; France could lift restrictions on U.S. visitors starting next month; the U.K. eyes a “travel corridor” to the U.S.; Greece now welcomes international tourists who got their shots; Delta and United plan new routes to Athens and Reykjavik; United will revive service to some international destinations in June, including Tahiti; Delta announces a new transpacific route from Portland; American will introduce a new India route; United upgrades COVID services available on its mobile app and adds more domestic routes; California has route news from Humboldt County and LAX; JetBlue and American will expand their networks from the northeast as their partnership grows; Los Angeles International now offers one-hour results for COVID PCR tests; and Capitol One will open its own airport lounges for cardholders.
Officials in Hawaii have been working in recent months to develop a vaccine-based exemption for mainland visitors from the state’s mandatory 10-day quarantine, and last week they took the first step in that direction — although for now, it only applies to inter-island travel by state residents. A vaccine exemption for mainland visitors could still be weeks or months away. Gov. David Ige said that starting May 11, fully vaccinated residents can go from island to island starting the 15th day after their last shot without a COVID test or a quarantine. The state spells out specific rules to be followed in verifying vaccinations and said this first step will help the state get the proper protocols in place for enlarging the program in the months ahead. “This phased approach will allow us to assess the impacts of the program to our pre-departure document check program and screening procedures,” Ige said. “Most importantly, we’ll be able to assess any impact to our virus transmission rates and healthcare facilities.” He added: “The trans-Pacific (continental U.S.) program is still in development and may begin this summer, and the international program is set to begin later this year.”