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Travel quarantine, government vaccine mandates to end March 25

Gov. David Ige announced Tuesday that all COVID-19 emergency rules except for the indoor mask-wearing mandate will expire on March 25.

The list of health and safety measures that will be lifted includes the Safe Travels Program, which will no longer be required for domestic passengers beginning March 26, and government vaccine mandates. State and county employees will no longer need to provide vaccination status or negative test results to their departments, while visitors and those doing business on state property will no longer need to provide vaccination status or negative test results to enter the facilities.

Other rules that limited gathering sizes and in-person meetings as well as created social distancing requirements have also expired per all four county mayors, who appeared in a news conference with Ige on Tuesday.

“Many states dropped their mask mandates earlier in the pandemic, only to have to reinstate them once the delta variant surged,” Ige explained of his decision to keep masking policies in place. “Hawaii maintained its mask mandate and our consistency helped to keep COVID case numbers and hospitalizations as low as possible during the surge. It is also one of the reasons Hawaii has the second lowest death rate in the country.

“We are watching disease activity closely across the state, the country and globally, and we will adjust accordingly to keep our entire community healthy – from keiki to kupuna.”

For more on this story, see Wednesday’s edition of The Maui News.

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