Businesses starting to get push back on mask compliance

Coronavirus

HONOLULU (KHON2) — It is now up to hotels and businesses to enforce the state’s mask mandate after Governor David Ige said he will not be making changes to rule, even after the CDC updated its guidance to allow those who are fully vaccinated to go mask-less.

The Surfjack Hotel’s General Manager Lynette Eastman said the majority of people are complying with the state mask rules.

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People inside the property are required to wear their masks unless they are actively drinking or eating from the restaurant.

“Ninety percent of the time the guests are OK,” Eastman said. “It’s that 10 % that want to push the issue because the CDC said that vaccinated people can remove their mask indoors and outdoors.”

Over the weekend, at least three out of state guests pushed back on the face covering requirement citing the latest CDC guidance.

She informed then it is not her rules, but from the state.

Eastman said, “The liquor commission and just the government itself, expects us to follow the rules so we can stay open. I take that very seriously for all of my employees.”

It is not just Eastman who is serious about enforcement. The Hawaii Lodging and Tourism President and CEO Mufi Hannemann said properties are sharing the state rules several ways to avoid confusion.

“We’re trying everything we can,” Hannemann said. “From visible reminders at the property, verbally speaking with guests to remind them, certainly leading by example by ensuring that the staff are doing that.”  

But even with up to date information, some are unwilling to comply.

The Royal Hawaiian Center Director of Marketing Sam Shenkus said security staff handed out about 500 masks every month to those who were unmasked. For the most part, people took the mask and complied but staff is beginning to see a change in attitudes towards masks.

“Several situations, people take the mask, throw it on the ground and walk away,” Shenkus said. “It was like you flipped the switch.”

She said many of the people who went unmasked believed it was allowed as the Royal Hawaiian Center is an outdoor shopping center.

The governor’s emergency order requires people to continue to wear masks unless they are socially distanced outdoors in a public space.

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