Hawaii drops outdoor mask mandate, predicts vaccinated mainlanders will be exempted from testing this summer
HONOLULU — Hawaii Gov. David Ige said Tuesday people will no longer have to wear masks outdoors as the number of COVID-19 cases drop and more people get vaccinated.
The governor said he would maintain a requirement that people wear masks indoors.
The same rules will apply regardless of whether someone is vaccinated.
Still, the governor said he would encourage those who are in large groups outside to continue to wear masks.
“The virus is still circulating in our community and unvaccinated people are particularly at risk. And until more are vaccinated, we must continue to take precautions indoors and in large groups because those actions are important to slow the spread of COVID-19,” Ige said at a news conference.
He expects to implement the next phase of its Safe Travels program in June once the software is updated, allowing it to access state vaccination records so that people vaccinated there can be exempted from testing or quarantine requirements after traveling to the mainland.
What about people vaccinated elsewhere?
"We continue to work with third-party providers – verification services – to allow us to verify vaccinations in other states," Ige said. "And as we make progress, we would be incorporating that into our Safe Travels programs. We do expect to be able to do that later on this summer."
The governor also said that starting June 1, he would allow ocean sports competitions like surfing contests and canoe paddling races to take place.
Ige said 57% of Hawaii's population has received at least one dose of vaccine while just under half of the population has been fully vaccinated.
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