Gov. David Ige approved Kaua‘i County’s request to amend its tier guidelines for COVID-19, further loosening restrictions.
The approval of Tiers 5 and 6 was announced Tuesday, May 25, along with Ige’s lift of the mask mandate for everyone outdoors, effective immediately. Masks are still required indoors.
“We are grateful to the governor for allowing us the opportunity to incorporate our vaccine rate into our COVID response plan as we know that vaccines are the best way for our community to protect itself from this virus,” said Mayor Derek Kawakami. “We are hopeful that this is a model that could be used statewide to potentially loosen other restrictions moving forward. The vaccines are safe and effective. I’ve had mine and so has my family, and I hope more residents will join us.”
Kauai County is currently Tier 4. The new tiers are driven by vaccination rates.
Tier 5 would go into effect when 60% of Hawai‘i residents have been fully vaccinated, and Kaua‘i’s seven-day average case count is less than three with a test positivity rate under 1%d. Under Tier 5, maximum group size limits would be increased to 25 indoor and 75 outdoor, and max capacity for businesses and activities would increase to 75%.
Tier 6 would eliminate all restrictions, allowing businesses and events to be open at full capacity. To move to this tier, 70% of residents statewide are fully vaccinated.
“We know that vaccines are the quickest way for us to move forward,” Kawakami said. “Our island took early, firm actions at the start of this pandemic which helped us build a robust vaccine program. As a result, Kaua‘i is leading the state with 48% of Hawai‘i residents now fully vaccinated and protected against severe effects of COVID.”
Vaccination appointments are now open to residents age 12 and older, with options on weekends and evenings, including several pop-up vaccine clinics from Hanalei to Kekaha. For details, visit http://www.kauai.gov/vaccine.
“Our counties are so closely connected that from a public health perspective, it makes the most sense to use the statewide vaccine average, particularly with the increase in inter-island travel,” explained Kaua‘i District Health Officer Dr. Janet Berreman. “County by county differences in vaccination rates are decreasing, and we foresee this model being used by other counties to continue to loosen restrictions. If you haven’t been vaccinated yet, please consider doing it now to protect yourself and our Kaua‘i ‘ohana, and to help us remain open and safe.”
People who are fully vaccinated and received their vaccine in the State of Hawai‘i can now use their vaccine record to travel inter-island and be exempt from Safe Travels mandatory quarantine. Travelers are considered fully vaccinated on the 15th day after the completion of their vaccine dose(s). For program rules and additional information, visit https://hawaiicovid19.com/travel/faqs/.