Maui Mayor Michael Victorino said a modified health pass will be implemented at Maui County restaurants beginning on Sept. 15, that is similar to, but less restrictive than the Safe Access O‘ahu program that begins in just 10 days.
While O‘ahu’s program is for restaurants, bars, gyms, movie theaters, museums, arcades and other similar establishments, Mayor Victorino did not specify what types of businesses besides restaurants would be included.
He said his staff is working on the final details which will be released next week Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021.
“For Maui we have a modified version, where customers would be required to show vaccination–vaccination cards, or some sort of verification,” said Mayor Victorino during a press briefing hosted by Governor David Ige on Friday afternoon.
According to Mayor Victorino, those who don’t have proof of vaccination, may be allowed to utilize outside seating areas or order take out as options.
While Oʻahu’s Safe Access program extends to employees, Maui’s program is less restrictive in that regard.
“As far as the employees, that mandate really is coming from their businesses… So I’ve left it in the businesses’ hands to require the vaccination passport for their employees. But we’re working through this and there’s some other modifications that we’ll look at as we move along,” said Mayor Victorino.
Governor David Ige said the idea of a health pass, in which customers are required to provide proof they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to enter certain businesses, is something that is being handled differently on different islands.
“We certainly have been discussing whether we want to require employees and customers in targeted businesses to be vaccinated. I fully support Mayor Blangiardi’s decision to move forward with that. We are building the infrastructure to allow verification of vaccination–for those vaccinated in the islands. I do and have acknowledged as we discussed this with all the mayors, that every county is different and that different actions might be necessary,” said Gov. Ige.
In Hawaiʻi County, Mayor Mitch Roth said it’s something that his administration is looking into, noting that there have been individuals on his staff that have recommended it.
“One of the things that we look at on the neighbor islands, and on our island especially is that we’re rural versus an urban island. And so we know that there’s a lot of people that may not be vaccinated that are in these jobs, that if we require that, it could cause further financial hardship,” said Mayor Roth. “As stated earlier, we don’t have a lot of the safety nets that we had last year. So it is something that we’re looking, at, but we have not decided to do it at this point. We’re also waiting to see what happens with Honolulu, and how it goes over there.”
On Kauaʻi, Mayor Derek Kawakami said it’s also something that is being looked into.
“For a while now we’ve already been enacting that sort of vaccine program, but it’s more for the professionally organized events–for example some of the events that happen in hotel and resort settings… Some of the guidance and requirements from the County of Kauaʻi is to have that staff or the organizer of the event, verify vaccination status or test results. That has been relatively successful,” said Mayor Kawakami.
“We’re in a holding pattern to observe how this helps the City and County of Honolulu,” he said. “On Kauaʻi, we’re also concerned that restaurants are currently operating at less than the capacity that is allowed because they just can’t find the workers… We’re trying to identify where the problem exists in the restaurant setting. From what we’ve seen, it’s actually from unvaccinated employees that are transmitting the virus, and so we’re trying to determine whether or not the customers [themselves are] the source or the point of infection and concern. So we’re taking a look at it.”