Despite the CDC recently updating its guidance relating to the wearing of face masks in the US, Hawaii is set to keep its current mask rules after the state’s Governor revealed that it was here to stay.
The Aloha state has recently been tinkering with its Covid-19 entry rules and restrictions, flip-flopping on its rules regarding booster states and vaccine passports, but masks have been a constant fixture on the faces of those in Hawaii throughout the duration of the pandemic.
The news is set to come as a particular blow to travelers, given that Hawaii is set to become the only state in the US to currently have an indoor mask mandate in place, and could have a knock-on effect in terms of traveler numbers. Here’s a closer look at what was said about the mask mandate, why the state is set to keep it in place plus a reminder of what the updated CDC guidance says about the wearing of face masks in the US.
Mask Mandate Stays – What Travelers Should Know
Whilst many destinations around the world are scrambling to tear down their restrictions and open the floodgates to travel, others still have several in place – and Hawaii is one of them. Not only do some travelers still have to submit a Covid-19 test result to a health portal prior to travel in a bid to avoid quarantine, the state is still one of the few in the US to have an active mask mandate in place.
Last week, the CDC made sweeping changes to its face mask rules that delighted travelers throughout the country. The changes meant that the majority of Americans would no longer be forced to wear face masks under new metrics released by the CDC that placed 70% of the population in counties that were deemed to be low or medium-risk areas.
Yet, whilst Hawaii is classified as a low or medium-risk area, mask-wearing is set to remain on the islands. When pressed on why, the state’s Governor, David Ige, said:
“Yes, we’re getting closer to the end of mask mandates and other activities. But we want to make sure we can keep our public schools open, people can continue to work. We can keep those in need of protection, especially those who are immunocompromised.”
Hawaii’s Department of Health also chimed in on the discussion, adding that if the past is anything to go by, they were making the right call. Referencing other states previously dropping their mask mandate, the Department of Health said:
“Those other jurisdictions had to re-implement their mask mandate. They had to get people to comply again and ask them to put their masks back on. Fortunately, Hawaii has been consistent throughout that helped protect people and help keep them healthy and helped save lives.”
With the mask mandate set to remain across Hawaii, it is set to make the state stand out from the rest as it will soon be the only one in the US to have such a policy in place. Various states, such as New York and Washington, saw their mask mandates expire weeks ago, whilst LA got in on the act last week.
However, for those hoping for a swift change to Hawaii’s attitudes towards masks, there is still some hope. Whilst the mandate is not set to expire until March 25th, the state’s recent decision to reverse its attitudes towards vaccine passports and booster requirements suggests that changes to their Covid-19 policies might not be too far away.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com