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Hawaii’s indoor mask mandate, Safe Travels program nears final days

On Saturday, masks will no longer be required indoors in Hawaii and the state's Safe Travels program will come to an end.
Published: Mar. 22, 2022 at 6:05 PM HST
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KAHULUI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Starting Saturday, masks will no longer be required indoors in Hawaii. Along with that, the state’s Safe Travels program will come to an end, signifying one of the most historic days of the two-year pandemic in the islands.

Maui tattoo artist Desmond Alexander said it has been a long two years and he is excited to take off his mask and travel without restrictions once again.

“It’s been a long time coming and everyone’s excited about it for a bunch of reasons…traveling, restaurant, sports, activities,” the owner of Sacred Ties Tattoo said.

Alexander said prior to the pandemic, about 80% of his customers were visitors. He is hoping business will finally get back to normal.

“That’s everyone’s goal,” Alexander said. “But you never know. Just go day by day, that’s all you can do.”

Pennsylvania resident Eric Kadel said he too is looking forward to hopping on a plane without the extra steps.

“The hoops you have to go through to get the QR code. If you needed to get a test that had to be within 72 hours, and then you’re sweating whether or not you’re going to get the results, and then hope that you’re negative,” Kadel said.

While Safe Travels will be going away, federal regulations still require masks inside of airports and airplanes until April 18.

“We want to thank the traveling public. We want to thank the local community and everybody else who helped make this possible to keep us safe as a community. Was it a headache? Yes, it was. Was had a challenge? Yes, it was. But at the end of the day, I think it made Maui a safer community,” said Maui Airport District Manager Marvin Moniz.

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