Hawaii governor to lift some restaurant, bar capacity limits

November 3, 2021 GMT

HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii Gov. David Ige said Tuesday he will lift restaurant, bar and gym capacity limits in counties that require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to enter such businesses.

Counties that don’t require such proof will have to continue to demand that restaurants, bars and gyms cap the number of patrons in their establishments at 50% of what they are normally able to fit. Currently, Honolulu and Maui are the only counties to require proof of vaccination or test results to enter such businesses. Kauai and Hawaii counties do not do so.

The changes take effect Nov. 12.

“As you all have heard for the last several months, the vaccination is the most widespread and important mitigation measure during this pandemic,” Ige said at a news conference.

In another change, Ige said those who are outdoors at restaurants, bars and and social establishments won’t have to maintain 6 feet (1.8 meters) social distance and wear masks as currently required.

The governor said he believes vaccinations should continue to be required of spectators at outdoor entertainment venues like football stadiums. Masking and vaccination rules allow such events to be held safely, he said.

“We still are requiring vaccinations, especially for those large gatherings, when people will not be required to maintain physical distancing,” Ige said.

To align with new U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention rules governing international travelers, Ige said the state would begin accepting all vaccinations approved by the World Health Organization. Until now, Hawaii had only accepted vaccinations approved by U.S. authorities.