Q&A: Planning to dine out or go to the gym? Soon you’ll need to bring your vaccine card

Customers wishing to enter Oahu restaurants, bars, gyms and other establishments will need to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test.
Published: Aug. 30, 2021 at 3:31 PM HST|Updated: Aug. 30, 2021 at 4:12 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The city’s new Safe Access Oahu program will go into effect Sept. 13, requiring customers of restaurants, bars, gyms and other establishments to present proof they are either fully vaccinated or have tested negative for COVID within the last 48 hours.

The program is aimed at addressing an alarming surge in COVID cases in the islands, which has filled hospital beds and left some calling for a shutdown.

What is the Safe Access Oahu program?

The program requires customers and employees at particular establishments to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test.

The requirements will apply to any customers entering an establishment for more than 15 minutes. Children under 12, however, are exempt.

Those grabbing takeout will not be subject to the order.

Details on what customers will be required to show are available here.

What businesses are impacted?

The order covers:

  • Restaurants and bars
  • Bowling alleys
  • Movie theaters
  • Museums
  • Indoor portions of zoos, aquariums or other attractions

Grocery stores, food courts or other food markets are not required to check vaccines or tests except for entry to a seated indoor eating area.

How will the new order be enforced?

Businesses will be required to implement the new rules for customers and employees, and attest they are doing so in a form that will be available online.

The city said those that don’t comply could face fines or even a temporary closure.

How long will the rules remain in place?

The order will remain in place for at least 60 days, but could be extended.

Have other jurisdictions implemented similar programs?

The city’s program is modeled after similar efforts in New York, New Orleans and San Francisco.

But Oahu’s rules include a testing option ― something Honolulu’s mayor said he wanted to do in hopes of alleviating the potential negative impact on business.

This story will be updated.

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