Oahu nightclubs can reopen, but patrons will need to show more than an ID for entry

To operate at 50% capacity, karaoke bars and nightclubs must require customers to show their COVID vaccine card or negative test result.
Published: Jun. 11, 2021 at 10:36 PM HST|Updated: Jun. 12, 2021 at 12:10 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - With Oahu entering Tier 4, karaoke bars and nightclubs can reopen.

But they must require customers to show their COVID vaccination card or a negative test result to operate at 50% capacity.

Some don’t see it any different from asking for an ID, while others say it’s an unrealistic burden.

“It’s not fair to the other business owners,” said Wrylo Agno, owner of Pandora Cafe in Honolulu.

The new rule leaves Agno with all kinds of questions.

“After seeing the vaccination card, what do we do with that, you know identification, do we create a log?” asked Agno. “How do we dispose of the information? Is it something we can share? Is it confidential?”

But there are no answers for most of those questions.

The mayor admits it’s an honor system.

“We’re just going to trust in businesses,” said Honolulu Mayor RIck Blangiardi, speaking to reporters Friday afternoon. “The one thing we will do if suddenly people are being in total violation of the rules or if there’s a cluster or something happens, we’re going to close it down.”

With the new requirement in place, others say they aren’t worried.

Robbie Baldwin, the owner of Scarlet Honolulu in Chinatown, said he’ll reopen in two weeks.

“We have some technology on our website that you can register before you come in,” said Baldwin. “We will be looking at that to see if we can upload the vaccine cards to that.”

So what do residents think about the vaccine or COVID test requirement for clubs.

“I guess until everything’s kind of over, it’s probably a good idea for the most part,” said Logan Iwatate, of Mililani. “I keep mine on me especially when somebody’s like ‘Oh you’re coughing or something.’”

But others aren’t so sure.

“I think it can be a bit cumbersome and annoying just because you have to take the card around,” said Andrew Lee of Kaka’ako. “If you could, like, have a digital card, maybe on your phone it’s a lot easier.”

Despite the new rule, one thing that’s not changing is the hours — all social establishments are still required to close at midnight.

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