The Aloha State will extend the state’s emergency order and impose capacity restrictions on restaurants, bars, and gatherings. There will also be strict adherence to mask mandates when indoors.
The state’s emergency order, imposed by Hawaii Governor David Ige, will continue to remain in effect until at least November 30. This order does not change the state’s Safe Travels Program, which allows tourists to skip quarantine by providing proof of vaccination via the state’s “trusted partner” site.
The state first re-imposed capacity restrictions back in August, citing a surge in coronavirus cases due to the delta variant. By then, indoor activities were reduced to 50 percent capacity, including restaurants and bars.
Gov. Ige, who had asked visitors to cut back on their trips to Hawaii back in late August, stated that the number of cases has gone down since then, “however COVID continues to cause high rates of infection throughout our state.”
“I am aware that my request to visitors to delay travel to the islands had some impact in the number of visitors that we saw. I did believe that it was very important that we slow down the number of visitors that were coming to the islands at that point in time,” said Ige during a news conference. “I do think it was helpful in order to help us get through this delta surge. And certainly with the trend in the right direction with the number of infections falling… we will be considering getting to a point where we will be inviting visitors back to the islands.”
Ige originally intended to lift all travel restrictions and end the Safe Travels Program by the time the state hit a 70% vaccination rate, however the spread of the Delta variant has changed that.
“We felt that we would be able to reach a 70% vaccination rate and we would be able to lift the emergency proclamation and really get back to life as normal,” Ige said. “As we all have seen, delta has changed that equation.”
Ige also spoke about considering things such as hospital capacity, but that there wasn’t a “single metric”.
“We want to ensure that travelers are vaccinated, that they are respectful of our requirements here,” he said. “And certainly we would be looking at messaging the notion that Hawaii continues to and would welcome visitors at the appropriate time.”
Visitors traveling to Hawaii are advised to plan their trip according to the state’s regulations and to remain respectful of local alerts and laws at this time.