Ige sets vaccination goals; extends eviction moratorium

Gov. David Ige on Monday set additional vaccination benchmarks for gatherings and restaurants.

When the state achieves a 60% vaccination rate, 25 people will be allowed at indoor social gatherings and 75 will be allowed outdoors, while restaurants will be permitted to operate at 75% capacity, with maximum group sizes of 25 indoors and 75 outdoors.

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When the state reaches a 70% vaccination rate, all restrictions will be terminated.

Social gatherings will no longer be restricted and restaurants will continue to be regulated in the normal course by the state Department of Health, which may establish new, permanent rules in light of the pandemic, the state said in a news release.

According to the news release, statewide vaccination goals will not affect the counties’ COVID-19 policies regarding structured events, weddings and other events. Ige’s provisions apply only to travel, social gatherings, and restaurants.

The measures, however, are subject to continued monitoring by the DOH for the impact of variants on COVID-19 case numbers and health care capacity.

The state and counties will make adjustments as needed.

The move comes days after it was announced that travel restrictions in Hawaii will end when vaccinate rates meet the same thresholds.

As previously reported, the Safe Travels program will begin accepting vaccination cards issued from health care providers anywhere on the mainland when the state reaches a 60% vaccination rate.

This will allow any domestic trans-Pacific traveler who has been vaccinated on the mainland to travel to Hawaii without requiring a COVID test beforehand.

When the fully vaccinated rate reaches 70% statewide, all travel restrictions will be lifted and the Safe Travels program will be terminated.

Gov. Ige also signed a 21st emergency proclamation related to COVID-19, which officially brings the inter-county Safe Travels program to an end at 11:59 p.m. on June 14.

As of June 15, no inter-county testing or quarantine will be in effect and all Safe Travels and other restrictions will end for inter-county travel.

While the 21st emergency proclamation, among other provisions, extends the eviction moratorium for those unable to pay rent, renters and landlords are encouraged to seek and accept the rental assistance relief being distributed in each county.

The proclamation also allows for the extension of expirations for driver’s licenses, state IDs, and instructional permits that expired during the emergency period. This extension allows county driver’s licensing centers to recover from the ongoing effects of the pandemic on availability of services.

“If current trends hold, I expect both the eviction moratorium and the driver’s licensing provisions to expire in August,” Ige said.

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“We’ve learned a lot about acting with care, and I am hopeful these lessons will carry us forward.”

The 21st emergency proclamation will expire on Aug. 6.