LIHUE, Hawaii (KHON2) — More than 6,000 people arrived in the state on Sunday and more than 2,600 of them were tourists.
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Those travelers are asked to not dine-in at a couple of Kauai eateries.
Saenz Ohana Breakfast food truck on Kauai made a post that has gotten some mixed reactions. But the business owner said it all comes down to safety and protecting his family, community and others.
“I’m really sorry if I offended anyone, bottom line about that, and I am, but I’m sticking by my safety measures,” said owner Juan Saenz.
The food truck’s post says that the seating area is closed to visitors. It goes on to say picnic tables are reserved for Kauai residents only. Owner Juan Saenz admits the wording should’ve been better, but he says that the message was intended for anyone who has traveled in the past 14 days or who has been in contact with someone who has traveled.
“Its supposed to be for all travelers, including residents. So if someone’s coming home from the mainland, and they come to Kauai, we’re asking them to order online as well as if someone’s coming to visit because we feel that the testing system is not 100%,” explained Saenz.
Saenz is not the only one taking precautions.
The owner of the Bistro in Kilauea posted signs asking anybody who recently traveled to wait 14 days before dining-in. The sign says: recent unquarantined travelers do not enter.
“This isn’t just visitors, this is also employees. This is family members that I’ve told can’t come in there,” said owner Matt Ernsdorf.
He also has family working at the restaurant and doesn’t want to see anyone get sick.
“To protect my family, protect the community, to protect other people. If something did happen, I would feel horrible,” he said.
Both eateries say that they’re not declining service to anyone, as take-out options are available.
The Hawaii Restaurant Association chair says they expected some businesses would be ready to open and others would err on the side of caution.
“Now a restaurant can receive refuse service to anybody, right? Because it’s America and that’s what you can do. But what I think what we really have here is we just have a group of people that are on that end of the spectrum that is just cautious,” said HRA Chairman Greg Maples.