Travel restrictions caused by newest variant have yet to affect Honolulu Marathon

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Nov. 30—International travel restrictions caused by the Omicron variant of the coronavirus had not as of late Monday affected the Honolulu Marathon and its two associated running events scheduled for Dec. 11 and 12, officials said.

"I'm not aware of anything at this point, " Honolulu Marathon president Jim Barahal said in a phone interview. "Ultimately, it would be up to the city and county (of Honolulu )."

The marathon will "take place without capacity limitations, " and runners "will not be required to wear a mask while running, " according to a statement Monday afternoon from city and county spokesman Tim Sakahara. "The city is moving forward with caution and in close consultation with health experts regarding the Omicron variant."

The Honolulu Marathon, Start to Park 10K (both on Sunday ) and Kalakaua Merrie Mile (Saturday ) were canceled last year due to the pandemic.

Two invited elite runners from Kenya are expected to compete in this year's Dec. 12 marathon.

"Kenya's not on the banned list, " Barahal said. "If they can get into the country, there shouldn't be a problem."

Travel to the U.S. has been banned from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi.

Late registration is still available Dec. 10 and 11 at packet pick-up at the Hawaii Convention Center. Much fewer are expected than the 33, 255 participants in 2019. Some runners are expected from Japan, but nowhere near the thousands of most years.

Proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test result is required at the time of pre-race packet pick-up. For those not vaccinated, the negative test must be taken after 5 a.m. Friday, Dec. 10. Rapid antigen tests will be accepted, but no home tests.

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