LIHU‘E — With Gov. David Ige’s signature, Emergency Rule No. 27 went into effect yesterday, effectively dissolving the COVID-19 tier system on Kaua‘i.
Most COVID-19 regulations, including masking requirements, travel regulations and limits on gathering size, will remain in place. The rule outlines specific and limited exceptions on the number of people who can attend professionally organized events.
Under the new rule, professionally organized events involving more than 100 people outdoors or more than 40 indoors will be allowed only if attendees provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test taken within 24 hours of the event. Tests must be of the PCR or antigen variety.
Attendees under the age of 5 do not need to procure proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test so long as they attend the event with an adult who meets those requirements.
Organizers will be on the hook for maintaining records of attendees’ vaccination or COVID test documentation as well as records of contact information for each attendee. Organizers may be required to provide that information to the Department of Health to conduct contact tracing.
Organizers that violate the rule can be fined $500 for each infraction.
Because of this new development, Kaua‘i’s Emergency Rule No. 19, which established the tier system, was repealed. The tier system was designed before the delta variant caused a massive surge in cases across the state and on Kaua‘i and would have dropped most COVID-19 restrictions once the state hit 70% vaccination. However, the delta surge forced Mayor Derek Kawakami and officials to re-evaluate.
The new rule leaves the door open for Kawakami to maintain COVID-19 safety measures after the state surpasses 70% vaccination. A press release from his office is expected sometime Thursday.