Maui stores prepare to cut down on customers as new Maui rules start Tuesday

Coronavirus

HONOLULU (KHON2) — New rules requested by Maui County Mayor Mike Victorino take effect Tuesday.

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Travelers headed to Maui must download the “Aloha Safe Alert” app and stores must limit the amount of customers they let inside. Stores have to limit capacity to 30%.

For Pukalani Superette, they were running at 50% capacity, which is about 25 people. On Tuesday, only 15 people can be allowed to enter at a time.

They have already set up markers on the ground outside the store to ensure social distancing and have an entrance monitor to count the number of people inside.

“If we start seeing like a build up like people standing, you know, in line to check out, we’ll open up another cash register right away and try and move them quickly through the store,” said Megan Nakashima, Pukalani Suprette president. “Hopefully that will kind of stop the lines from forming outside.”

Nakashima says they’re actually operating under the 30% capacity to make sure the workers are safe and everyone has enough room between aisles and shelves.

“And we know we’re going to take a sales hit but we feel like if we can make the environment a safe place for our customers to, you know, feel comfortable shopping and still comply with Maui County, that’s better than, you know, taking a risk,” said Nakashima.

Other grocery stores like Foodland say not much will change for them since they are already running at blow 30% capacity on Maui.

Retailers like Mahina say they are not as busy as they were pre-pandemic so limiting customers won’t affect them as much.

“Most of our stores are about 1,000 square feet, said Joe Wilmot, Mahina owner. “That allows you know five or so people in the store. A lot of times, the stores are just one employee at a time, maybe two.”

He said they haven’t been able to bring back all their employees yet, and they have to clean after every customer. So, there is a limit to how many people they can bring in the store safely.

“We would very politely ask you to, you know, the people that are just hanging out to wait outside,” said Wilmot. “So that customers who want to come in and shop can come in.”

Dustin Hoaglen, district manager of Boardriders, Quicksilver and Billabong said their stores are already running at about 20 – 25%. Most stores have a maximum of 10 customers. He said there are often lines, but they make it work, and customers are often okay with waiting.

Tuesday will also bring new rules for travelers to Maui. In addition to a valid negative COVID-19 test, people will need to download the Aloha Safe Alert App and present it to screeners at the airport. The app helps with contact tracing and can let someone know if they have been exposed to someone who has the virus.

If someone can’t get the app, another Google-Apple notification system can be downloaded. If a person does not have a smartphone, they must be travelling with someone who does and has the app. If not, they will be required to quarantine.

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