Tourists Arrested for Using Fake Vaccine Cards to Get into Hawaii

Everyone is just trying to travel as safely as possible right now. Don't do this.

Photo by Marco Garcia/AP/Shutterstock

Travel to Hawaii hasn’t slowed down much, creating the necessity for entry requirements to protect residents. Travelers must produce either a negative COVID-19 test or proof of vaccination to enter the state. Those who don't have either will be required to quarantine before continuing their vacation.

That said, where there are public safety requirements, there are people willing to completely disregard them, even if that means breaking the law. This is exactly what happened when two US mainland visitors were arrested for allegedly using fake vaccine cards to travel to Hawaii. The two individuals, who haven't been named, were arrested at Honolulu's International Airport.

For violating Hawaii's COVID-19 mandates, the pair could face misdemeanor charges that carry a fine of up to $5,000, up to a year in prison, or both, according to the Associated Press. On Wednesday, both travelers were arraigned after spending the weekend in jail.

The Hawaii Attorney General's office said this was the first arrest for fake vaccine cards made by the department, though other law enforcement agencies in the state may have other cases. Around the world, fake vaccine cards have been popping up as unvaccinated travelers attempt to sneak past COVID-19 mandates at various borders. Lawmakers across the US are calling for a crackdown on these cards, which have been growing in popularity as proof of vaccine requirements become common in many places.

A good rule of thumb for traveling now, and any other time really, is don't commit fraud to go on vacation.

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Opheli Garcia Lawler is a staff writer at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @opheligarcia and Instagram @opheligarcia.