With countries across the globe now working towards vaccinating their citizens against COVID-19 and its strains, the world, especially the international education sector of many countries abroad is slowly starting to return to normalcy. With the boost in confidence in the different COVID vaccines available in the world currently, universities in the world have begun working on re-commencing face-to-face learning.
Among them, the University of Hawai’i, Manoa has sent out a notification alerting its international student cohort of restarting face-to-face learning, early in June 2021. As per the notification, the University of Hawai’i is encouraging the international students to receive any one of the vaccinations that have been listed in the WHO (World Health Organisation) Emergency Use Listing or EUL.
The notification announces that students can take any vaccine listed on the WHO EUL/PQ list that has received the assessment status of “finalised”. However, understanding the dearth in the number of vaccines available, UH assures students that they will be able to receive vaccines once they have arrived at the state.
Students are advised to keep themselves updated with the latest information that can found at University’s official website, which will remain updated with the latest information. the Students can also log in to their MyUH account to check the regular updates that will be sent out by the university.
Hawai’i Travel Guidelines for International Students
As per the current travel guidelines imposed by the State of Hawai’i:
All travellers are required to clear the SafeTravels programme and be “symptom-free”, on arrival. Those able to abide by these rules can avoid the compulsory 10-day quarantine period.
Travellers are required to display a negative COVID-19 test report, taken less than 72 hours before arriving at the destination. The Test should be taken from one of the Trusted Testing and Travel Partners. This facility is currently restricted to Canada, Taiwan, Korea and Japan.
Travellers are also encouraged to meet the guidelines raised by the airlines that are travelling to Honolulu.
The programme had been brought forth to be less restrictive and allow travellers, who have been vaccinated to arrive at Hawai’i, from at least most Asian and Pacific-rim countries. The SafeTravels programme expects to provide possible testing on arrival or at least face a minimal quarantine period for those who have not been vaccinated yet. However, this is yet to be confirmed, the University of Hawai’i highlighted in the notification.
All travellers are advised to download the SafeTravels Hawai’i app before departing from your country. All aspiring travellers must complete the survey and upload their relevant COVID-19 test results. On arrival at the Honolulu international airport and after clearing the Immigration and Customs, officials from the Department of Health will ask you to display the QR code generated by the SafeTravels app.
The University of Hawai’i has also announced that they will be providing the students with the latest information regarding travelling to the US state. However, they are continuing to encourage international students to start preparing for the flight to Hawai’i.
In its notification, the university also provided a solution for those students unable to receive their vaccination before they arrive at the university. The University of Hawai’i revealed that the students will be able to get the vaccinations in Hawai’i before starting their classes. For this, the students are advised to travel as soon as possible, but not more than 30 days before the programme start date mentioned on your I-20 or DS-2019, according to the F1 or J1 visa policy. However, if students are required to undergo the quarantine period, all expenses and efforts to arrange and pay for the accommodations shall be covered by the student themselves.
Hawai’i COVID-19 Vaccination Regulation
Students travelling to study in Hawai’i are required to clear all the health requirements specified by the US Government. The university announced on May 1, students will be required to be “fully vaccinated” for COVID-19 as part of the Health-Clearance requirement. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved one COVID-19 Vaccine. Moderna and Pfizer have submitted applications to acquire the full license, as of 1st June 2021.
Students will be considered “fully vaccinated” after a period of two weeks post receiving the complete vaccine. Both Moderna and Pfizer COVID vaccines need 2 vaccine doses, scheduled weeks apart, to be completed, while the Johnson and Johnson vaccine requires one dose.
Among the Health-clearance requirements, students are also required to clear a Tuberculosis (TB) clearance as well as three 3 different immunisations. Students are required to meet the health clearance requirements highlighted by the government and the UH Manoa campus to start their courses on-campus.