HONOLULU (KHON2) — Maui has become the second county in Hawaii to propose a COVID-19 vaccine pass that would allow entry into certain businesses.
The Safer Outside program was announced Tuesday, Sept. 7, with a proposed launch on Wednesday, Sept. 15, pending Gov. David Ige’s approval.
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There would be a 50% maximum capacity for restaurants, bars, gyms, recreational boating, ground transport and commercial tours under the proposed rules.
Commercial events must apply for an exemption for anything over 50 people and new gathering rules also apply.
“A safer outside set of rules, and this means that all gatherings up to the maximum of 10 should be held outside whenever possible. We are modifying social gatherings inside 5 people outside up to 10 people,” Maui County managing director Sandy Baz said.
Indoor dining would be the only thing to require proof of vaccination.
“All customers over the age of 12 provide proof of vaccination they be fully vaccinated,” Baz said.
Mike Phillips owns Coconut’s Fish Cafe in Kihei. He had to ask customers in August to stop yelling at his employees because of long lines to get a table.
He is concerned Safer Outside will make the problem worse.
“I feel sorry for my employees, because they’re going to be the brunt of this,” Phillips said. “If I could talk to every customer and do every customer and look at every vaccine card, so be it. That’s my job, but I can’t do this with 800 people every day seven days a week,”
Currently, the City and County of Honolulu does not give an exemption to those who are unvaccinated to dine outdoors, which cities like New York and San Francisco have allowed.
“So different than Honolulu we are allowing unvaccinated patrons to be served seated outside. So again, safer outside. main mantra that we’re doing is safer outside,” Baz said.
Restaurants and bars would be forced to close by 10:00 p.m.
Phillips said that would also impact employees.
“The balancing act is going to be really something very dramatic for my employees because we’re not going to have enough room either way, with the 50% less than the time limitations, now they’re going to close at 10 o’clock again,” Phillips said.
Gov. Ige has yet to sign off on the rules.