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Travel Troubles Emerge as Hawaii Covid Cases Triple

US Covid cases are at a weekly average of over 120k per day and more than a thousand average COVID deaths each week. So the US does not appear to be in any kind of controlled phase of COVID.

And as of today, neither is Hawaii. While the CDC just said that the US “7-day moving average of daily new cases (118,515) increased 37.3% compared with the previous 7-day moving average,” Hawaii cases have just jumped after having dropped to under 100 per day, indicating a big change.

While Hawaii has been doing relatively well, today there were 282 reported new COVID cases statewide. That is about triple what we were seeing just a few weeks ago. Yesterday, there were 214 new cases. The Hawaii Department of Health said there had already been a 121% increase just since Thanksgiving.

So what does that mean for Hawaii-bound visitors?

Experts are saying there is a need to remain vigilant in any further lifting of restrictions, lest they not be promptly reinstated.

Hawaii remains in a challenging position in terms of its fragile healthcare system, due to our physical isolation, small population, and other factors.

It remains unclear as to whether Hawaii will choose to implement any additional Covid restrictions on its own right now, or will await more data and national guidance. In the meantime, as you know, each county is free to maintain its own Covid restrictions. On Maui and Oahu, for example, proof of vaccination or recent testing is required for indoor restaurant dining.

Any changes to Safe Travels are definitely on hold at this time: Vaccination, testing. 

Vaccination or testing exemptions, to avoid quarantine, will remain in effect, indefinitely. Safe Travels is Hawaii’s website portal for proof of these, and that too is to remain in place for the foreseeable future.

Hawaii mask mandate continues, as California adds theirs. 

The Hawaii indoor mask mandate indoors will also stay put. Governor Ige said recently, “I think it’s the one thing we will continue to have in place.” Hawaii has been one of just a handful of states that have retained masks for indoor settings for both vaccinated and unvaccinated. But that too is changing

Governor Ige said that there are no longer any metrics upon which the state can rely for any further changes to COVID rules. At one point he had said that at 70% fully vaccinated (which has been achieved), the state would eliminate Safe Travels.

As of today, in California, indoor masks are again required due to climbing Covid cases and concerns about the new omicron coronavirus variant. California’s mandate is set to continue through January 15 at this point.

41 thoughts on “Travel Troubles Emerge as Hawaii Covid Cases Triple”

  1. LT Gov Green talked about what will must likely happen coming for the new year for Safe Travels. He said it’s very likely that the Booster shot info will be included in Safe Travels. He’s not so much worried about covid numbers as he is worried about hospital numbers. He expects the covid numbers to increase because of the holidays and than a settling come Feb/March.
    Aloha Guys

  2. Clearly after 2 yrs of no closure it’s time to declare failure and admit that these measures don’t work. It’s insanity to try the same thing and expect a different outcome.
    But clearly pols are aren’t concerned what the data not the related sci.

  3. Hi,
    My wife and I just made reservations to visit Oahu in January. We uploaded our CDC COVID vaccination cards to the SAFE Travel Hawaii site under the COVID Vaccine Exception/Exemption section, are we still requied to get the COVID test prior our flight to Hawaii? It is very confusing. Thank you for your feedback and assistance.

    1. Hi Steve.

      No, just the vaccination exemption will suffice. Just complete the health questionnaire within 24 hours of travel. Have a good time on Oahu.


  4. Aloha BOH Bro’s

    My hope is would be booked travelers to Hawaii panic over Omnicron and start canceling, so I can score another sweet deal Maui.

    1. Our thoughts are with all Hawaiians. Why can’t Hawaii mandate that people who are from those highly infected mainland states are not allowed to travel to Hawaii unless they are double vac’d, isolate on arrival and get tested.Here in Australia we have this in place in some states. Hope you get through this soon


      1. We are coming “home” for a two month vacation in January. We are vaccinated and boostered up. We will stay away from family and friends for 10 days after landing. we want to protect our Ohana and ourselves!

  5. There certainly are a lot of public health experts who visit here. Unfortunately some of them don’t grasp the meaning of such words and phrases as “increased,” “jumped,” “tripled,” “fragile healthcare system.” It’s pretty simple and straightforward to follow Safe Travels, or go elsewhere. It looks like plenty of people are willing to do what’s necessary to visit the islands, and those who aren’t have lots of options; time to get planning those trips.

  6. 800000 deaths and 50000000 cases in the US. Why? Because of ill informed people. It is not wearing masks and not using covid passports that has got you to this point. Here in Canada our case and mortality rate is a third of the US per capita because we do simple things like wear a mask in public places and show vaccination status at restaurants etc. It’s about trying to take care of each other. I’m sure the people of Oahu would be grateful if you did go to Florida.

  7. I appreciate the wisdom of Hawaii officials sticking with mask mandates and other precautions. In my county on the mainland mask wearing is pretty universal and the Covid death rate is very low. In other counties in our state very few people wear masks and relatively few are vaccinated and the death rate is 10 times as high in those counties. Hang in there Hawaii!

    1. Paul, please show some factual comparable statistics. Your claim that, “In other counties…few people wear masks and relatively few are vaccinated and the death rate is 10 times as high in those counties.” is highly suspect, and likely inaccurate. I’ve traveled from CA all across the West and Midwest, and in virtually every place I go, people wear masks indoors, even in counties that don’t enforce mandates.

      If you’re going to make a claim, back it with statistical facts.

  8. As of Dec. 5, 2021, according to the WHO, there have been ZERO deaths from the Omicron Variant in the ENTIRE WORLD.

    Some say that Covid has gone from a pandemic to being endemic.

    1. The vast majority of the current surge in cases in the U.S. right now is driven by Delta. We haven’t hit the real upsurge in Omicron yet, that won’t happen for several weeks at least. Delta is known to be dangerous so even if Omicron proves out to meet the optimistic scenario there is a real and growing situation with Delta.

    2. I’m not sure the prognosis for Omicron is necessarily “cool so it’s way more mild”.

      First reports of deaths are now trickling in from the UK. More worrisome, Bloomberg reports today that excess deaths in South Africa have started to track Covid deaths. This is also what happened during their Delta wave.

    3. From what I’m hearing Omicron gets into the airways but not the lungs. It causes a scratchy throat but not a score throat. Delta is a whole different animal!! The best way to stop all virus is to wear a good mask properly.

      1. This is, so far, not a definitive supportive finding. The group who published this result of their “laboratory analysis” cautions: “Less efficient replication in the lungs may suggest lower severity, but severity in humans is not determined only by virus replication but also the host immune response”

  9. Here’s a shoutout for Gary, Mike, Doug, and Mary Kay obviously trying to deny a dangerous, death dealing virus and further the agenda that has abandoned the rule of law and common sense. The state of Hawaii and Gov. Ige need to do everything possible to protect the general population and the Hawaiian Ohana. Once Americans reach 95% fully vaccinated and mask things will improve. Please, go to Florida where the governor is a Covid-denier and couldn’t care less. Aloha!

    1. You mean Florida where there is a very small number of positive cases. Yes, freedom is essential and liberty to move about is actually a lot healthier than fear!

      1. Very “few positive cases” in Florida, aka Covid-Central?! That’s what the Florida governor would have you believe, in fact he approved a raid on the home of the former administrator of the state’s Covid-19 website because she continued to publish the real positive case numbers and not the tourist-friendly numbers the governor preferred. I also suggest you do some serious world history study and travel overseas before you spout about “Freedom” and “Liberty”. Auwe!

  10. I am worried about our medical system here. Hospital staff here have barely recovered from the late summer Delta wave and are exhausted, demoralized, some almost PTSD like symptoms from dealing with severe cases. Other Nurses have left, or are leaving, younger women choosjng pregnancy over work. There is not a lot of energy and compassion left to deal with yet another wave of infections. So this not a good time to be admitted.

  11. We just got notified by the Canadian Government to stop any nonessential travel. A clear warning, since they might close the borders, if cases hit 20,000 a day or so and leave Canadians stranded. Looking at numbers worldwide, it looks like there is a problem. Even States in the US might not have a choice but shut down. This new virus seems to infect too many people too quickly. Hopefully this wave will last only 3 month (hopefully less) and then we get back to normal.

  12. Aloha and thanks for your continued communication. As a frequent traveller, I can appreciate the preparedness and sensitivity to the increase in cases. Having lived with an RN for the last 20+ years, I’m well versed in the communicated advances and CHANGES with this virus. It’s all new. It will continue to change. I’m ok with wearing a mask indoors and will continue to do so. Hawaii needs to remain vigilant for those reasons that you’ve mentioned. We all do. If not, we all pay the consequences.

  13. It’s flu season folks. The time has come to stop the fear mongering and move on with our lives. Every year going forward we will have a new name for the flu season. It’s obvious that what ever the so called genius’s says works. it doesn’t.

  14. Stay calm and pump the brakes there, Rainbow people. Still averaging just 3 deaths a day which is actually half of what it was 5 weeks ago. For omicron look at deaths not cases.

    1. Thank you for being one of the few voices of reason. Unfortunately, politicians, bureaucrats and the media are not voices of reason, only loud voices promoting undo panic, lockdowns and uncontrolled spending, along with misinformation (i.e. many children under 12 are dying of COVID without severe preexisting conditions).

  15. When are people going to realize that none of these restrictions and mandates are doing anything to stop the spread of COVID?

      1. As well as the opinion of many scientists and other experts that know a lot more about this than I do. We could get into a link-posting war if you want, but let’s not.

    1. Good Day DOUG

      I suggest the answer to your question is when the politicians and media no longer consider it convenient for the people to believe such.

      “The people will believe what the media tells them they believe”
      – George Orwell. 1984

  16. I’m going to Oahu for new years, but now really regret not going to florida instead. 🙁 After 2 years, it should be obvious that masks have done nothing but harm children and adults with medical and PTSD issues and after 1 year of the vaccine, it should also be obvious that they are not stopping the spread of the virus. Cases fluctuate despite all of this. Get a grip, hawaii…

    1. I’m back in Florida fo a few weeks… Santa unmasked and out in the open at the malls..( not behind plexiglass🤣)

      Y’all are being played by people trying to pretend to do something for their next election cycle. The little 80yr old grey haired ladies out hrere less scared than the West Coasters and Hawaii residence.

      For 2 yrs 50% of this Country have been afraid of dying. In reality they’ve spent 2 yrs scared of living.

      Enjoy your masks, distancing, tests, vaccine passports and the rest…

      1. I’m so glad that is Florida, not Hawai’i. They can keep their maskless virus-denying ways and we can protect our people and healthcare system.

    2. It does seem as though Florida would be a better vacation destination for you, to both your own and Hawaii residents’ benefit!

  17. Cruises Lines are set to return in January. They require vaccination and 48 hour testing before sailing. Will the additional certification of Safe Travels be in affect or exempt?


  18. Visitors like to say it is because of the locals being unvaccinated. However, statewide we are at 77% with at least one shot, and 71% fully vaccinated. The holidays are here, and tourists numbers increased again. And now, this…you will never convince me the two are not connected, because each time we open up, this has happened.

    1. I think we should consider that it is travelers in general that may be increasing the numbers. Locals are traveling to the mainland to visit family for Thanksgiving and the holidays and tourists are a much bigger presence since things opened up. This is a virus that looks for any opportunity to transmit and traveling in general can increase the spread.

    2. Interestingly, though, when we relaxed our rules over the summer (and cases subsequently climbed dramatically), it was right when we got hit with Delta. And, now, when we relaxed our rules (and cases subsequently climbed dramatically), it was right when we got hit with Omicron. So, there’s really no way to tease out the exact cause(s) of the spikes.


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