Airport delays due to travelers who want vaccine passport but ignore directions

Airport Delays Due To Travelers Who Want Vaccine Passport But Ignore Directions

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    HONOLULU, Hawaii (KITV) — Travelers are not uploading a picture of their vaccine record to the Safe Travels website before they arrive in Hawaii — so they’re doing it in person at the screening station, causing delays for other passengers.

The state reports 70% of people applying for the vaccine exemption aren’t following directions on the Safe Travels website.

“Uploading the vaccine card is not easy. And unless you’re tech savvy, regardless, seniors are having a hard time uploading they carry card, or the phone features don’t have that feature to upload the card or vaccine card,” said Bob Burr, operations manager for Roberts Hawaii, the agency hired by the state to handle Safe Travels screening and verify documents.

If several flights arrive at the same time, people say they can wait anywhere from 15-30 minutes.

Safe Travels program officials say the vaccine passport program is so popular they expanded the requirements today to allow vaccination records from any healthcare provider or hospital as long as it lists the vaccine lot numbers and where you got the shots.

The state initially accepted only vaccine cards and records from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Burr says the change is meant to make the process easier for fully vaccinated travelers — not penalize them for not having a CDC card.

About 500 screeners act as traffic cops — fact checkers — COVID-19 police — aloha ambassadors — and educators for visitors who are not prepared.

“A lot of times it’s because they didn’t do their research and only hear or see certain things in selective hearing and what they read,” Burr said, who estimates about 300 people a day on average go into the 10-day quarantine, most of whom are returning residents who do so voluntarily.

Burr says some travelers express frustration and take it out on screeners, but it comes with the job.

“People gonna vent, aggravated, not prepared, in shock after spending so much money going after, you listen to them,” Burr said. “People got to accept these changes, it is challenge, it is a challenge to come to Hawaii.”

Every once in a while, there is a traveler who says they appreciate the work Hawaii is doing to keep the community safe.

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