Hawaii businesses see successful start to Safe Access Oahu order

Coronavirus

HONOLULU (KHON2) –Monday was the first day for customers to show proof of COVID vaccination or a negative COVID test to enter restaurants, gyms, and similar establishments.

Restaurant 604 says the first day of Safe Access Oahu went surprisingly well.

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“So far so good,” said Devena Maples, vice president Devena Maples. “I’m actually really surprised. I didn’t expect it to be as easy as it is. I was expecting people to be a little more confused or not cooperative.”

The Hawaii Restaurant Association tells me there are dozens of restaurants who have resorted back to take out only due to Safe Access Oahu rules. One of those eateries includes Pancake and Waffles in Kalihi. The restaurant has dealt with staffing shortages since the start of the pandemic, and it was concerned the new rules would put a strain on its workers.

“We were really going back and forth,” said Juli Sun, co-owner of Pancakes and Waffles. “We didn’t know what to do but when we thought about it. We couldn’t put the burden onto our staff to check vaccine cards and check IDs. It’s just a lot of pressure.”

Meanwhile, 24 Hour Fitness Pearl City says the Smart Health Card app has made the check in process a lot easier.

“We’re super appreciative that they’re understanding while we’re following the mandates,” said Rob Philyaw, general manager of 24 Hour Fitness Pearl City. “It makes it really easy for members to check in and we have a way to verify their vaccine status or 48 hour negative test.”

Businesses are asking for patience and hope the remainder of Safe Access Oahu will continue to be a smooth process.

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“It does require us to do a lot more at the door and it takes away from our normal service, but I think it’ll get a little easier through the days as it goes by and as everyone gets more familiar with what to do,” Maples said.

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