(BIVN) – Restrictions on social establishments will end by December 1st, and counties in Hawaiʻi will no longer be required to obtain the approval of the governor for changes to COVID-19 rules.
The State of Hawaiʻi made the announcement on Tuesday during a news conference. “Hawaiʻi residents have worn their masks and avoided large gatherings, even important family events. Most of our residents are vaccinated. We worked together to keep our communities as safe as possible during this pandemic. The State of Hawaiʻi is now ready to move from overall state coordination back to the counties,” said Gov. Ige.
Governor Ige said he plans to sign another emergency proclamation on November 29, giving the counties direct responsibility for pandemic emergency management in their jurisdictions. The Hawaiʻi Emergency Management Agency will continue its various support functions, and the Hawaiʻi Department of Health will continue to issue public health guidance, the governor said.
Also, on December 1st, the State will end an executive order issued on Nov. 2, regarding statewide limits for social gatherings, restaurants, bars, social establishments, and gyms. “The counties will implement appropriate measures for social gatherings, restaurant operations, social establishments and other venues within their own counties,” a State news release explained.
In addition, extensions for driver’s license renewals, instruction permits, and replacements are ending as of November 29th.
The state says it will “no longer offer a Critical Infrastructure workers’ exemption to the 10-day travel quarantine,” adding that “exemptions for persons who previously tested positive for COVID-19 and other exemptions will continue to be considered.”
Some COVID-era policies remain unchanged. Those are:
- The Hawaiʻi Safe Travels Program;
- The indoor mask mandate;
- The vaccination or testing requirements for state executive and county employees; and
- The vaccination or testing requirements for contractors and visitors to state facilities.
“These steps serve to revitalize our visitor industry at an appropriate time, with our state’s vaccination rate ranked among the highest in the nation, coupled with the health safeguards for domestic travelers that are required by Hawaii’s Safe Travels program,” said Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority President & CEO John De Fries. “The modified federal restrictions on international arrivals and the continuation of Hawaii’s indoor mask mandate provide additional safeguards.”
“The nature of this emergency was like no other, and it required a level of federal, state and county coordination that we’ve never before seen. I’m grateful for the leadership of our mayors and for the collaboration and close working relationship that we have. Together, with the people of Hawaiʻi, we arrived at this point. But the pandemic is not over. We urge residents to remain vigilant as we continue to protect the health and safety of our kamaʻāina, re-energize our economy and strengthen our communities,” Gov. Ige said.
The latest proclamation, once signed, will continue through January 28, 2022, unless terminated or superseded by a separate proclamation.