Oahu and Maui will start ‘vaccine pass’ programs. Will other counties follow suit?

File photo of a restaurant in Hawaii
File photo of a restaurant in Hawaii(Hawaii News Now/file)
Published: Sep. 8, 2021 at 9:57 AM HST|Updated: Sep. 8, 2021 at 10:03 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Both Oahu and Maui will be implementing “vaccine pass” programs soon. But will other counties follow suit?

Hawaii County Mayor Mitch Roth said, at this point, it’s not likely he will implement a similar initiative.

“We’re trying at this time to bring our community together rather than rip them apart, you never want to see a community come apart,” Roth said. “The more we can bring people together to work on a situation, the more likely it is, we believe that we’re gonna have positive outcomes.”

Roth said some county services are being delayed due to staffing shortages from workers either testing positive for COVID or being close contacts of those who are infected.

Kauai County says a “vaccine pass” program is being considered, but no decisions have been made.

Maui County is set to implement its own program starting Sept. 15. Mayor Mike Victorino said this would mean restaurant customers would be required to show proof of vaccination to be indoors at restaurants, bars and gyms. Otherwise, for restaurants, they’d be able to choose outdoor dining if available, or takeout.

More details are expected to be announced later this week.

Maui County has the lowest vaccination rate in the state — just 54% are fully vaccinated.

For the City and County of Honolulu, thousands of businesses are preparing to comply with the Safe Access Oahu program, which goes into effect Sept. 13. Patrons at restaurants, entertainment venues and gyms will have to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test taken within the last 48 hours.

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