Ige doesn’t anticipate return of mask mandate

HONOLULU — Gov. David Ige said Monday he is not currently considering reinstating a mask requirement for public indoor spaces.

Hawaii was the last state in the nation to lift its indoor mask mandate at the end of March.


“I don’t anticipate reinstating the mask mandate at this point,” said Ige in an email to The Associated Press.

The state has seen an uptick in new cases since the rules were lifted.

“We did expect a slight increase in case numbers after spring break, and we have seen that in the last week or so,” Ige said. “However, we are not seeing the kind of surges that are currently happening on the mainland. Hospitalizations continue to be low here, and we are in a good place.”

Philadelphia reinstated its mask mandate Monday amid a surge in COVID-19 cases, and other cities across the country are seeing a rise in cases.

Ige said that if the conditions warranted it, he might consider requiring masks again in the future.

“If there is a big spike, we may have to revisit masks,” Ige added. “However, I noticed over the weekend that many people continue to wear their masks indoors. We know that masks work and they make a difference in keeping our communities safe.”

Public schools in Hawaii still require children to wear masks indoors, a measure the governor said he continues to support.

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