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Hawaii Lifting Statewide Restrictions: What Travelers Need To Know

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It was announced by officials in Hawaii this week that the state will remove most Covid-related restrictions by December 1st.

Hawaii Governor David Ige joined county mayors earlier this week to discuss a number of the state’s travel health protocols, including the Safe Travel program, capacity limits, masking and more.

long exposure shot of mountains and beach in Honolulu

All Protocols Will Be Issued At The County Level, Announces Governor

Following the meeting, Governor Ige announced in a news conference that from December 1, all counties throughout Hawaii will no longer need the approval of the state governor to issue their own emergency orders (if necessary).

He also stated that all capacity limits for restaurants, bars and gyms will no longer be under statewide orders. Instead, the protocols will be issued by the local mayors of the county.

“This is really just the return to the normal emergency situation in which counties are lead and the state provides guidance and support,” the governor said.

Photo of a happy young couple walking hand-in-hand on Waikiki beach at sunrise.

Honolulu Mayor Lifts A Number Of Restrictions

Honolulu’s mayor, Rick Blangiardi, also announced the loosening of some local Covid-related restrictions that will come into effect over the next week.

Among the Covid-related restrictions to be lifted is the 6-feet social distancing in bars and restaurants. The mayor will allow owners to remove the physical distancing measures that are currently in place at restaurants and bars, so customers will be allowed to socialize with different parties.

During his announcement this week, mayor Blangiardi said that he will also lift the capacity restrictions on all live indoor and outdoor events on Oahu.

chairs and wedding backdrop along the beach in Hawaii
With restrictions for large gatherings being lifted, people can plan their weddings in Hawaii

For a few months now, indoor gatherings on the island of Oahu have been limited to a maximum of 10 people, and 25 people for outdoor gatherings. Food and drink will be allowed to be served as well, but attendees will have to abide by the requirements of the Safe Access program.

Oahu’s Safe Access program requires those customers who are not vaccinated to present a negative Covid test result taken from the previous 48 hours to be allowed entry. This does not apply to persons under the age of 12.

All employees, contractors and volunteers for these businesses must either show proof of vaccination or get tested for Covid on a weekly basis. You can read the latest details of the program here.

rainbow scenic view over the popular surfing place Sunset Beach, North Shore, Oahu, Hawaii

These updates come as great news for those planning a wedding or other large group events in Hawaii, as a number of gatherings have been postponed due to the protocols.

During his announcement, mayor Blangiardi stated that the contract tracing requirements will also be dropped. “We are going to expand attendance to vaccination and testing. We are also dropping all requirements for contact tracing. You don’t have to fill out the forms anymore.”

Young woman resting on her surfboard waiting for a wave

Hawaii Opened To Fully Vaccinated Travelers In November

Earlier this month, along with other U.S. states, Hawaii reopened to fully vaccinated international visitors. Before the reopening, Governor Ige released updated travel guidance for both mainland U.S. and international visitors arriving directly to Hawaii.

Those individuals traveling directly to Hawaii from another country will be required to show proof of full vaccination and a negative Covid test result (antigen or NAAT) taken no later than three days before travel.

U.S. citizens traveling directly to Hawaii from an international destinations can enter by showing proof of full vaccination or a negative Covid test result taken only one day before departure.

tourist in Hawaii on a hike, taking a picture of the ocean and mountain view on a cliffside

Cruises To Hawaii Suspended Until 2022

It was announced last week that cruises to Hawaii will be suspended until 2022.

Hawaii Has One Of The Highest Vaccination Rates In The U.S.

According to the latest data from, Hawaii is among the top 10 states with the highest vaccination rates, with 81% of individuals having received their 1st dose.

beach in Hawaii at sunset

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