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Almost: Hawaii Just Dropped Indoor Mask Mandate

There’s a rainbow over Hawaii this afternoon. That as Governor Ige announced today that Hawaii will be the final state to drop its mask mandate. Yes, you heard us say, “drop.” That will now come on the same day that Hawaii ends its other Covid travel restrictions. Starting on March 26, visitors will no longer need to comply with any testing or vaccination requirement prior to Hawaii travel. And all of us can keep the mask off starting then too (with some exceptions as you’ll read below).

We are wondering what it will be like to actually see faces again. Some people only know us with our masks on. It will be like getting reacquainted. That’s crazy to even think about.

Ige announced the news at a press conference today saying that we will now learn to “live with the virus.” It comes as Ige confirmed that case counts are low and heading lower while at the same time Hawaii has a high vaccination rate.

The Governor did say should the need require it, he’ll be “ready to reinstate the mask policy.”

Where masks may still be required.

One caveat is that masks are still likely to be required on public transportation, such as buses, and in Hawaii’s airports. It will be up to other businesses to require masks if they choose to, which we believe will be unlikely.

When he was asked why he didn’t drop the masks effective immediately, rather than on March 26, Ige said he was being “prudent.” He will continue to monitor case counts and ould always change his mind between now and March 26.

And further recommendations from Hawaii.

Hawaii continues to recommend that those who are immunocompromised, elderly, or otherwise at high risk to continue to wear masks. The Department of Health also suggests indoor masks wearing in crowded settings.

What do you think of this change?

47 thoughts on “Almost: Hawaii Just Dropped Indoor Mask Mandate”

  1. It’s going to be a bit difficult to enjoy our trip to Kauai given what’s going on in the Ukraine.

  2. Thankful!! So looking forward to seeing people’s smiles and faces! Just hope it continues, and Ige doesn’t “re-instate”.

  3. If you think wearing a mask in public is too difficult or inconvenient, try living in Mumbai or the Congo …Sounds like 1rst World Whining to me….P.S. i hope no one is offended by the archaic term “First World” Peace and Love and thank you BOH!

  4. This mandate, that will expire at 2 years and change, has caused a great deal of ill will among the people of Hawaii to it’s own and to those whom have come to visit. The work of remediating our society from this attitude of pitting people against each other based on their mask-wearing willingness is going to take a long time to wash out and restore the Aloha Spirit for all who are here in Hawaii.

    1. Good Day STAN F

      A most insightful post.

      I fear before we accomplish what must be done to repair the divisions in our society from Covid responses, we will be placed into another crisis.

      Noted Italian political philosopher Giorgio Agamben, examining governments and the pandemic observed:

      “[…] For decades now, institutional powers have been suffering a gradual loss of legitimacy. These powers could mitigate this loss only through the constant evocation of states of emergency. . . .”

    1. They finally dropped it for kids outside. 9 months after it was dropped for everyone else (including school kids when not at school). The outdoor mandate has never made sense, except to the true believers. But, the indoor one persists.

      Many of the comments in the Honolulu Civil Beat article (dated Mar 8) are directed to the continued abuse or protection (depending on your political science) of kids.

  5. Aloha,I just hope people remember that here on Kaua’i we only had 9-11 ventilator beds during COVID-19. We were the safest place to vacation for America. I’m over the masks but we showed our Aloha by wearing them. Now, can we talk about the coming tsunami of over tourism? Seems like bombing of European cities is our next crisis. Pray for peace.

  6. This will probably be an unpopular opinion for some but part of me is actually sad it is changing. Although masks and jumping through testing and safe travels hoops were a pain, you at least knew all of those coming really wanted to be there and were happily willing to do what it took to spend time there. Now so many of the people who expressed such disdain for the whole process are saying that now maybe I will come back. Makes me believe that now the flood of entitlement will return. Aloha


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