Hawaii will drop its state-wide indoor mask mandate on March 25th, Governor David Ige announced.
Officially, the mask mandate will expire at 11:59 p.m. on March 25th, meaning March 26th will be the first day patrons can go maskless indoors.
Governor Ige said the decision was a result of COVID-19 cases trending downwards and because of the state’s high vaccination rate.
“We’re committed to moving the state forward and learning to live with COVID,” said Ige at a press conference.
In dropping the mandate, Hawaii becomes the last state in the country to do so, and keeps the momentum going on a flurry of undoing COVID-19 emergency policies.
In late February, Maui dropped its vaccine and testing requirements for bars and restaurants; Oahu did the same in early March. Hawaii also announced last week the end of vaccine and pre-arrival testing requirements for tourists, set to expire end of day on March 25th, the same day the mask mandate will end.
Masks won’t entirely go away in Hawaii, however, so don’t leave them at home. You can expect them to still be required at all airports, for example, and private businesses will have the right to enforce their own mask mandates if they choose.
But, overall, things will be getting a lot less complicated for travelers as we roll the calendar into April.
Barring the appearance of another variant, the state seems ready to move forward with normal operations on most fronts and welcome in a busy spring and summer travel season.
Could this be the long-awaited end of our COVID-19 Hawaii travel updates? We can only hope.