Gov. David Ige on Tuesday announced that the state of Hawaii is “safely open” to vaccinated residents and visitors who are traveling domestically and between islands for business or pleasure, starting Nov. 1.

Ige made the announcement in Kona, according to a press release from the administration. The occasion was the opening of the permanent Federal Inspection Services facility at the Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport.

Governor David Ige announces the new Hawaii Smart Health Card that will go live on friday.
Gov. David Ige at a press conference earlier this year. Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2021

“I think we are all encouraged by what we’ve seen over the last several weeks with the continuing trend of lower case counts,” said Ige. “Our hospitals are doing better, and we have fewer Covid patients in them.”

He continued: “Most importantly, our health care system has responded, and we have the ability to move forward with economic recovery. Because of this, it is now safe for fully vaccinated residents and visitors to resume non-essential travel to and within the state of Hawaii.”

On Aug. 23, Ige said it was not a good time to travel to Hawaii, something that garnered big headlines and upset the local tourism industry.

“I’m asking all residents and visitors alike to restrict travel, curtail travel to Hawaii to essential activities only,” Ige said at the time.

Hawaii, the press release says, continues to seek information from the federal government about its plans for international travel “and will have an appropriate plan in place” prior to Nov. 8.

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