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Oahu businesses, state facilities prepare to start checking vaccine cards and COVID tests

Published: Sep. 10, 2021 at 3:17 PM HST|Updated: Sep. 10, 2021 at 4:34 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Beginning Monday, sweeping new rules take effect to pressure people to get vaccinated and protect service and government workers from infection.

The state and Honolulu county orders mean that you’re going to want to keep your proof of vaccination or negative COVID test results handy.

On Oahu, businesses like restaurants, gyms, and entertainment venues will be asking for them.

The Safe Access Oahu program goes into effect on Monday.

Gyu Kaku Japanese BBQ says its employees already have a system in place.

“So we’ll have additional staff at the host stand, so that one person can explain to everybody the new mandate? You know, not everybody knows, and it’s going to be the first week,” said Sheryl Matsuoka, a Gyu Kaku partner and executive director of the Hawaii Restaurant Association.

Except for children under 12, proof of vaccination or a negative test taken within 48 hours will be required if you want to dine in at Oahu restaurants.

Also in effect Monday, the governor’s executive order requiring visitors and contractors to state facilities to show they’ve been vaccinated or tested negative.

The rule covers libraries and public schools, which had to plan quickly.

“It’s not 100% perfect and I would be the first to say and even what we are trying to roll out is not going to be perfect,” said State Comptroller Curt Otaguro.

The rule doesn’t not apply to children under 12, public school students, airport passengers, people at beach parks, those at state correctional and housing facilities, or people making short deliveries.

Very similar rules have been in place at University of Hawaii campuses for months, requiring everyone who sets foot in their facilities to upload their proof to a special app.

Dan Meisenzahl, a University of Hawaii spokesman, said setting the system up and enforcing it was not easy. “It was really a challenge for our IT department and it’s a daily challenge, too,” he said.

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