HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new guidelines Tuesday permitting fully vaccinated people to go outside without masking up.
Lt. Gov. Josh Green says he agrees with the new guidelines and that Hawaii will likely adopt those changes soon.
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Fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask outdoors, except in certain crowded settings and venues. That is the latest from the CDC.
“I think we should adhere to it,” Green said. “The CDC has basically said, if you’re fully vaccinated, which means you’ve had both of your shots, Pfizer or Monderna, plus two weeks, or the Johnson & Johnson shot, plus two weeks, you are now safe to go out without a mask, be outdoors, no problem.”
Green says it makes sense, especially in Hawaii.
“In the open air, the risk of transmission is very low,” he explained. “So that is a policy change that I’ve recommended to the governor and the team should follow that.”
Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi said in a statement:
“A main takeaway is that people who are fully vaccinated are safer and have less risk when doing things like visiting friends and family and participating in outdoor activities without a mask. It is a positive step forward and highlights the need for more people, particularly younger people, to get vaccinated so we can move toward a day without restrictions.”
Many are in favor of loosening mask rules but want to ease into it.
“I’m fine with that,” Honolulu resident Matt Jisa said. “But, personally, I’ll probably just keep wearing it just to show support for others.”
Waikiki resident Dainora Tomasino said she hopes the Department of Health implements the new guidelines.
“If it’s part of the CDC, obviously they’ve done testing on these things and it should be okay not wearing it, but I’ll probably continue to wear it a few more months until I feel like everybody has gotten vaccinated,” Tomasino explained.
Green says he realizes some people will break the rules, but hopes most will not.
“We have to believe that people will follow the right rules and be careful and safe and considerate of others,” he said.
Hawaii County Mayor Mitch Roth says he has additional concerns.
“The biggest concern, of course, is the health and safety of our island,” Roth said. “There are variants. We look at what’s happening around the world. There’s concerns there. We want to talk to our partners and make sure that we’re safe to move ahead, but we are reviewing it. And we’re going to see if we can make some adjustments.”
Though there are some exceptions, Gov. David Ige’s statewide mask mandate is still in effect and requires individuals across Hawaii to wear a face-covering when in public settings.
Click here for a complete list of the latest CDC guidelines.