Honolulu vaccine enforcement will be complaint-driven

Coronavirus

HONOLULU (KHON2) — The City and County of Honolulu will require patrons and employees of certain businesses to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in less than two weeks.

Some businesses are wary of unruly customers while a few visitors to the islands have recently attempted to pass off fake vaccine cards.

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Restaurants, bars, gyms, movie theatres, museums and arcades are among the businesses that fall under Safe Access.

City officials said it is up to the community to police who is complying with the rules.

“This will really be a complaint-driven enforcement,” Honolulu executive director of the Office of Economic Revitalization Amy Asselbaye said. “So HPD and the Liquor Commission would have to go out to a business, if there was a complaint made against them, and site the business if they determined that they were not complying with the order in some way,”

That could lead to severe consequences as other businesses were shut down for violating emergency orders.

“There are other actions they could take, for example, the Liquor Commission can shut down in establishment, they do have that authority,” Asselbaye said.

Blake Parado runs his own fitness center in Puck’s Alley. He will keep a database of his members to streamline his operations.

“We have it on file, they don’t have to bring their card in every time they just have to show it to us at one time,” Parado said. “Maybe they can even just send us a picture of it, and then they’ll be good to go for the rest of the time,”

Parado does not anticipate a vaccine requirement to have a big impact on his business.

“I don’t think or I hope it’s not going to have too much of a negative effect. There have maybe been one or two people that said they’re not they don’t want to get vaccinated and the unfortunate put their account on hold but I’d say the rest of the membership is very understanding,” Parado said.

Restaurants are in a different situation as memberships are not required for most dine-in eateries.

The City is hoping that proper training will help to avoid any conflicts with customers.

“We do know that they are training their members about Safe Access Oahu and they’re also working on how to de-escalate situations with a customer or with an employee,” Asselbaye said.

New York City has a voluntary app called Excelsior which allows a user to upload a vaccine card and then scans a QR code that allows the user to enter a business.

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Asselbaye said the City does not have a plan for that but that the State had explored it.

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