The mask mandate is dropping, but you’ll still have to wear them in some places

Your top local headlines for March 24, 2022.
Published: Mar. 24, 2022 at 9:19 AM HST|Updated: Mar. 25, 2022 at 6:13 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - After two years of restrictions, Hawaii is getting closer to dropping its indoor mask mandate.

The mandate’s end marks a major turning point in the pandemic.

The indoor mask mandate will end at 11:59 p.m. Friday, the last major COVID restriction. But officials stress that masks won’t be going away entirely.

On Thursday, the city issued a reminder that masks must still be worn at all times while on board TheBus and TheHandi-Van.

Under federal guidelines, mask use on public transportation will continue until April 18.

Masks are also still mandated in public schools, prisons and jails and airports. Private businesses are also within their rights to require masks.

“Certainly businesses, organizations will have the authority and the ability to establish whatever mask requirements they would want,” Gov. David Ige told Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii was the last state in the nation with an indoor mask mandate in place. The state first instituted its mask rule in April 2020.

The state Department of Accounting and General Services, which manages the state Capitol building, said masks won’t be mandatory come Monday.

But those in certain smaller hearing rooms will be asked to wear them.

The state Judiciary says indoor masks will still be required on Oahu, but will be optional on the neighbor islands.

Ige says he’ll continue masking depending on who he’s around.

“When you are in your work bubble, people you see every day working with them constantly, you know they are not sick. You can probably feel comfortable not wearing masks,” he said.

Also on Friday, the state will drop its Safe Travels rules that require domestic trans-Pacific arrivals to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test to bypass a 10-day quarantine.

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