HONOLULU (KHON2) — With Governor David Ige giving clarity on the mask mandate, his new proclamation also adds safety protocols and guidelines for hotels.

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Each hotel property in the state must submit a COVID-19 Health and Safety plan, which has to be approved by the Hawaii Tourism Authority and published on the Hotel’s website.

“That’s one of the things that we think will go a long way to ensuring that travelers who are coming here from both the mainland, as well as Japan and hopefully other international markets, know that we are committed to their health and safety,” Governor Ige said.

Another change to the proclamation is that businesses shall refuse service to anyone not wearing a mask.

“At least now it makes it clear across the board, that you have to wear a mask and that businesses will be facing some punishment and discipline,” Hawaii Lodging & Tourism President and CEO Mufi Hannemann said.

The proclamation also makes hotels responsible for guests who become positive with COVID-19, or those who have been identified as a close contact of someone who has the virus. Hotels will either have to host them or find them somewhere else to stay.

“What I was glad to see was that part of the proclamation that he’s making it clear that we are under no obligation to accept anyone who comes to the state with COVID-19 that does not have a confirmed reservation at a hotel,” Hannemann added.

Overall, industry leaders see these moves as something that will create uniformity — but say many of these hotels have already had these procedures in place long before the new proclamation.

“Many of our properties across the industry have already implemented Safe Stay Hawaii,” American Hotel and Lodging Association Hawaii spokesperson Kekoa McClellan said. “That since we reopened the state to Trans-Pacific travel, we have been sufficient in reducing the spread of COVID-19 on our properties. Most importantly keeping our guests, our employees and our communities safe.”

The Safe Stay Hawaii program was guided by former Navy Admiral Louis Tripoli, who was the Command Surgeon for the Indo-Pacific Command.

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