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Mask mandate, domestic travel vaccination rules end | News, Sports, Jobs – Maui News

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A set of masks is shown in February 2020, shortly before the pandemic reached Hawaii and masks became the norm worldwide. On Friday, the state dropped its indoor mask mandate as well as rules requiring proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 tests for domestic travelers as well as government employees. Masks will still be required at state airports through April 18 and at state Department of Education facilities when indoors. — The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

As masks come off indoors today and domestic travelers are freely able to come to Hawaii, some pandemic directives will still linger at state airports, public schools and other venues that choose to keep the masking rules.

At 11:59 p.m. Friday, the state’s indoor mask requirement expired, along with rules requiring proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 tests for government employees and domestic travelers.

Gov. David Ige earlier this month announced the state would drop the mandates, citing lower hospitalization rates, falling case counts and the ability to better treat people with COVID-19.

Hawaii is the last state to lift its universal indoor mask mandate.

Local businesses say they will fall in line with the end of the mandates, though some will continue to require mask-wearing among their employees.

Arriving passengers stand in line while waiting to be screened at the Kahului Airport on Oct. 15, 2020, the day the state launched the Safe Travels program that allowed trans-Pacific travelers who brought proof of a negative COVID-19 test to bypass the mandatory 14-day quarantine. The program, which evolved with the pandemic and most recently required proof of vaccination or a negative test to fly into Hawaii, ended for domestic travelers on Friday. — The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

Pukalani Superette, for example, will allow customers to come in without a mask, as the store didn’t want to confuse customers by requiring a face covering when other places don’t, said Megan Nakashima, president, brand manager and director of community outreach for the locally owned market.

Nakashima said the mandate has been tough on employees who have been yelled at while trying to enforce the rules.

“We’ve heard that we may have been the strictest place regarding wearing a mask. We were doing what we considered was the responsible thing to do, but it was lonely,” she said.

As masks are lifted for customers, Nakashima said the store will require employees to continue to wear a mask for two weeks while on the store floor.

Employees are also welcome to wear a mask in back areas and beyond the required two weeks on the sales floor, she added.

“We’ve seen less illness circulate through our employees because of the masks,” Nakashima said. “We also believe that we were able to stop the spread of our positive COVID cases because all of our employees took mask-wearing seriously.”

Locally owned Island Grocery Depot is doing something similar by lifting mask-wearing rules for customers but keeping them in place for employees.

Nelson Okumura of Island Grocery Depot said Friday he wasn’t sure how long the company would extend the mandate for employees.

But he said the end of the mask mandate for customers alleviates the concern of confrontation with shoppers, which he said hasn’t happened at Island Grocery Depot’s stores …….

Source: https://www.mauinews.com/news/local-news/2022/03/mask-mandate-domestic-travel-vaccination-rules-end/

A set of masks is shown in February 2020, shortly before the pandemic reached Hawaii and masks became the norm worldwide. On Friday, the state dropped its indoor mask mandate as well as rules requiring proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 tests for domestic travelers as well as government employees. Masks will still be required at state airports through April 18 and at state Department of Education facilities when indoors. — The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

As masks come off indoors today and domestic travelers are freely able to come to Hawaii, some pandemic directives will still linger at state airports, public schools and other venues that choose to keep t…….

A set of masks is shown in February 2020, shortly before the pandemic reached Hawaii and masks became the norm worldwide. On Friday, the state dropped its indoor mask mandate as well as rules requiring proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 tests for domestic travelers as well as government employees. Masks will still be required at state airports through April 18 and at state Department of Education facilities when indoors. — The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

As masks come off indoors today and domestic travelers are freely able to come to Hawaii, some pandemic directives will still linger at state airports, public schools and other venues that choose to keep t…….

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