As of March 26, the state of Hawaii’s indoor mask mandate will no longer apply.
The announcement was made by Hawaii governor David Ige at a news conference on Tuesday, The new rules while go into effect from March 25th 11:59 p.m (Hawaii Standard Time), which is the same date and time when the state’s Covid emergency proclamation ends.
This week’s news makes Hawaii the last state in the country to drop its indoor mask requirement. The mandate was first put in place in April 2020 and applied to both indoor and outdoor venues across the island state.
And when the CDC updated its guidance for mask-wearing last month, Hawaii kept its individual policy for masks at public venues throughout the state.
State Officials Going For ‘Live With The Virus’ Approach
The update is also in line with the new “live with the virus” approach that is being applied both by state’s across the U.S. and nations throughout the globe.
“We’re committed to moving the state forward and learning to live with Covid,” the governor stated during his announcement.
Mask Requirement To Be Removed, But Leaders Still Leaning On The Side Of Caution
While the mask mandate is scheduled to be dropped entirely, the governor also mentioned that the requirement could be reinstated at any time.
Throughout the pandemic, the Hawaii governor has continuously stated the importance to err on the side of caution when it comes to dealing with the virus. And this approach is reflected in the Covid-related health requirements that have been put in place in Hawaii over the past two years.
Even though the news will affect travelers to the state, who won’t be required to wear a mask while dining in restaurants or attending other indoor events, masks will still be required to be worn inside classrooms at public schools across the state.
Hawaii’s Safe Travels Program To End March 25
Hawaii’s Safe Travels Program was put in place that involved all of the Covid-related health and travel requirements. The program included entry restrictions for international and domestic arrivals to the island state as well as travel rules on the ground.
But also at the end of the day on March 25, all of Hawaii’s local entry requirements for travelers are scheduled to be scrapped entirely. At this time, travelers coming from mainland U.S. must still show either proof of full vaccination or a negative Covid test result to enter the archipelago or be required to self-quarantine for five days upon entry.
The Safe Travels Program application that travelers are required to fill out prior to visiting Hawaii will also be removed.
U.S. Entry Rules Will Still Apply For Travelers To Hawaii
For international visitors to Hawaii (meaning, those flying directly from another country into Hawaii without stopping in mainland U.S.), please note that all Covid entry requirements set by the U.S. government will continue to apply.
So if you plan visiting Hawaii in the near future, always check the latest travel information for the United States before your trip.
At this time, international arrivals to the United States via air aged two and older must show a negative Covid rapid antigen test taken 24 hours from travel. This entry requirement applies regardless of vaccination status.
According to the latest guidance by the State Department, travelers who’ve recently recovered from Covid over the past 90 days of travel may show officially proof of recovery instead of presenting a negative test. The proof should come in the form of a positive Covid-19 viral test from no later than 90 days of travel and a note from a licensed healthcare provider.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories