Using Fake Vaccine Cards to Get Into Hawaii Is Really Stupid
As many listeners of my show know, last week my wife and I spent the week in Hawaii celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary. It was a great trip and I'm glad we went despite the governor of Hawaii asking travelers to stop visiting. (In a future piece, I'll give a few recommendations for those who might be traveling to Oahu in the near future.)
For those who don't know, flying to Hawaii can be a pain. It's a long flight, but thanks to on board Wi-Fi and movies, it's not as bad as it used to be. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you can't just get on a flight though and travel to Hawaii. Instead, there's a little more work you have to do.
All travelers have to register on the Hawaii Safe Travels website. There's information you have to fill out, plus a health form you must complete 24 hours before the flight. You also have to upload a vaccine card (and bring it with you to Hawaii), or submit a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of landing in Hawaii.
For many travelers, this is not a huge deal. For those who've been vaccinated, it's really not a big deal at all. But still, there are some who've decided to drop thousands of dollars on a trip to Hawaii and refuse to either get vaccinated or tested, instead attempting to use fake vaccine cards to get into the state.
Now, it's possible that some have been able to sneak in. But at least seven travelers last month got busted, including two people that got busted at our hotel.
My wife and I were sitting on the front porch of our hotel on Waikiki Beach when we noticed hotel security escorting a man out of the hotel. Immediately, Honolulu Police drove up. The man who was escorted out had his luggage and was telling his travel companion to do what the police asked. She was standing next to a car with her luggage. Police were searching both the man and the woman, put them in handcuffs and drove away.
We wondered what had happened and saw a news story the next day that a couple had been arrested at a hotel for having fake vaccination cards. It was the same couple we saw at our hotel.
So far in Hawaii, seven people have been charged with using fake vaccine cards. Punishment ranges from a $5,000 fine or up to a year in prison. Doesn't sound worth it to me.
I understand that people are ready to travel, but if you can't handle the vaccine or proving a negative test, or if you're going to cause a scene on a plane because of mask rules, maybe right now isn't the best time for you to travel to Hawaii or many other places that have requirements. There's nothing wrong with a road trip to a Texas or Florida beach.