With infections and hospitalizations falling to levels not seen since before the Delta-variant fueled surge, the Valley Isle is now following Oahu’s lead. Yup, just as Hawaii’s most populous island, Maui loosens restrictions too.
In an announcement made on Wednesday, Maui Mayor Mike Victorino announced updated restrictions approved by Governor David Ige. However, things aren’t relaxing on Maui to the same degree that they are on Oahu.
Maui Loosens Restrictions
The updates to Maui’s rules include:
- Social gatherings of up to 10 indoors and 25 outdoors – up from five and 10, respectively.
- Restaurants and bars can serve alcohol up to midnight – up from 10 pm.
- Maximum restaurant party size of 10 – up from five.
- Unvaccinated patrons may dine indoors at restaurants so long as they provide a negative test result from a COVID-19 test taken within the last 48 hours. Previously, unvaccinated patrons could only dine outdoors.
- Outdoor sporting events can have up to 25 spectators, while indoor events can have only up to 10. Food and beverage sales are prohibited at these events except for sales of water.
These new adjustments go into effect tomorrow – Saturday, October 16.
What’s not changing are restrictions on performing venues, which continue to face capacity restrictions of 50%. In fact, capacity restrictions of 50% remain for nearly all businesses on Maui, as do social distancing requirements for many. Masks also continue to be required in all indoor settings.
Large events – such as weddings – can proceed. However, any event with over 50 guests must submit a plan to and receive approval from the Mayor’s office.
Maui isn’t loosening its restrictions quite as much as Oahu, but it is a step in the right direction. What’s more, they never really clamped down as severely as Oahu did in the first place. That said, I expect seats at popular restaurants to remain difficult to get, so make sure you plan accordingly. And don’t forget to bring along your vaccine card – or at least a photo of it – if you plan on dining out.
I know there are some that think these rules are still too restrictive, but I think Mayor Victorino made the right choice. After all, Maui only has one major hospital, even when you include the other islands in the county. And they’re the island whose medical system came under stress the quickest during the recent surge. So, given what just happened, officials have the right to be cautious there.