Hawaii to Lift COVID-19 Capacity Restrictions Dec. 1 — What to Know

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  • David Ige
    8th Governor of Hawaii

Hawaii will lift restrictions on bars, restaurants, and more this week, allowing each island to implement its own rules going forward, the state's Gov. David Ige announced.

Starting Wednesday, Ige will repeal his executive order, which imposed gathering restrictions and instead allow each county to implement whatever measures they deem appropriate.

"The nature of this emergency was like no other, and it required a level of federal, state, and county coordination that we've never before seen," Ige said in a statement. "Together, with the people of Hawaiʻi, we arrived at this point. But the pandemic is not over. We urge residents to remain vigilant as we continue to protect the health and safety of our kamaʻāina, re-energize our economy, and strengthen our communities."

Hawaii restaurant
Hawaii restaurant

YouTube/KHON2

The news comes on the heels of the state's decision to ease capacity restrictions at bars and restaurants that require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to enter Honolulu and Maui.

Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi said in a statement that no capacity restrictions will be placed on businesses or events starting Wednesday, while Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino has said he was reviewing the rules and added in a statement that "vigilance is still needed."

It also comes as more than 71% of state residents have been fully vaccinated, according to Hawaii's state health department, and weeks after Hawaii officially welcomed tourists back to its islands.

But while the state is easing some restrictions, Ige said it is not eliminating its indoor mask mandate or its Safe Travels Program, which allows domestic visitors to skip quarantine if they arrive with proof of a negative test or proof of vaccination.

Another thing that isn't coming back so fast is cruise ships. In fact, the state doesn't plan to allow cruises back to the islands until at least January 2022.

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.