Gov. David Ige announced today that the state will ease restrictions on social gatherings and restaurants once 60% of Hawaii residents are fully vaccinated, adding to the growing list of incentives for people to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
Up to 25 people will be allowed to gather indoors and up 75 people outdoors once the benchmark is achieved, while restaurants will be allowed to increase their capacity to 75%.
The new rules won’t impact the counties’ COVID-19 policies relating to structured events, such as weddings.
When the state achieves a 70% vaccination rate, all COVID-19 restrictions will end, including indoor mask requirements, travel and other public health restrictions. Currently, 53% of Hawaii residents are fully vaccinated.
The prospective easing of restrictions comes amid a statewide campaign unveiled on Friday by the Ige administration aimed at boosting the state’s vaccination rates through a lottery with multiple prizes, such as 1 million HawaiianMiles from Hawaiian Airlines, distributed as 10 prizes of 100,000 each, a trip to Las Vegas for two and free Zippy’s meals for a year.
Additional prizes and business discounts for Hawaii residents who are vaccinates are expected to be announced this month. Residents who were vaccinated before the campaign launched, as well as those getting the shots subsequently are eligible to enter the lottery and can register here.
As of this morning, about 90,000 people had resgistered to win prizes, according to a health department spokesman. Additional prizes and discounts at businesses are expected to be announced soon.
Ige also signed his 21st emergency proclamation relating to COVID today, which officially brings the inter-island Safe Travels program to an end on June 15. At that time, inter-island passengers will no longer be subject to testing and quarantine requirements.
The emergency proclamation also restores Hawaii’s procurement laws, including laws and policies governing the purchase of health and human services. It also restores licensing requirements for occupational and physical therapy and restores administrative support for child support enforcement.