Hawaii announced yesterday that it will end its Safe Travels program, which requires visitors to provide proof of vaccination or a negative test, on March 25th.
That means that, starting March 26th, anyone visiting the island will do so just as they did prior to the pandemic, without any pre-paperwork, testing, or proof of anything required. The idea of quarantining will be a thing of the past.
This is certainly convenient news for travelers, and follows the trend around the islands of dropping restrictions.
While the absence of these regulations will make life easier for residents and visitors alike, COVID-19 restrictions in Hawaii won’t be going away entirely.
In fact, one huge mandate will still remain in place – the state-wide indoor mask mandate. Governor Ige said he will keep it in place for the coming month, and possibly longer into April, as a tool to guard against any possible new variants.
“The pandemic is not over,” Ige said. “Tragically, we continue to see those we know and love suffer from COVID-19. Each one is a tragic loss.”
This means that restaurants and other indoor venues on every island will still be required by law to enforce the wearing of masks, although the law also permits you to take off the mask if you are seated at a table eating and drinking. Staff and employees of the establishments, however, must wear masks the entire time.
Currently, Hawaii is the only state with an indoor mask mandate.
Tourism representatives in Hawaii hope the reduction in restrictions will allow for economic recovery this spring and summer.
“Bringing the Safe Travels program to a close reflects the progress we have made as a state, and Governor Ige’s decision is a good balance of maintaining reasonable health precautions while reopening our society and economy,” the Hawaii Tourism Authority said in a statement.