HONOLULU (KHON2) — Gov. David Ige on Tuesday announced that he will let the Safe Travels Hawaii program expire on March 25 for domestic Trans-Pacific travelers.
There are no immediate changes to the indoor mask mandate as it remains under review by the Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH).
On Monday, Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi confirmed that Safe Access Oahu will expire after 11:59 p.m. Saturday, March 5, and there will be no further COVID restrictions for the city. He also announced that private businesses can continue to ask for proof of vaccination or a negative test if they choose to.
“COVID is not over, but we’re going to go forward with living with this disease, and we’ll try to act as responsibly as we can,” Blangiardi said during a news conference.
While the mayor’s announcement means Safe Access Oahu is no longer a government mandate, Ige’s emergency proclamation is still in place through March 25.
As part of Safe Travels Hawaii expiring, the mandatory quarantine for incoming passengers will end on March 26 at 12:01 a.m. Passengers arriving from any domestic destination will not have to show proof of vaccination or a pre-travel test. They won’t have to provide travel information or trip details. All pre- and post-arrival screening will end as well.
This does not apply to international travelers who have different requirements set by the federal government.
In addition, state and county workers will no longer need to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test to their employers after March 25. Visitors and those doing business with state properties will also no longer need to share their status or results to enter the facilities.
Last week, Ige told KHON2 that he’s not ready to say when he’ll drop the state’s mask mandate. Hawaii is the last state in the nation to have one in place.
“I do think that the CDC does continue to recommend mask wearing for different individuals,” Ige said on Tuesday. “We also are working with our public schools. We do recognize that we’re coming up to spring break and we anticipate that there will be changes and people traveling that will introduce increasing virus activity in the public school setting.”
Ige added that he’s looking out for the overall community and will address the mask requirement later.
“When we just look at the proclamation ending on the 25th and what would occur after that, all I’m saying is that we do know that the mask mandate works, and we’ll continue to have the indoor mask mandate,” Ige said. “We’re ensuring that our schools can remain open for in-person learning.”
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DOH must now make a determination on when it will be appropriate to drop the mask requirement.