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New rules in effect on Maui, limiting gatherings and implementing ‘vaccine pass’

Published: Sep. 15, 2021 at 6:42 AM HST|Updated: Sep. 15, 2021 at 9:06 PM HST
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KAHULUI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Maui County’s new “vaccine pass” is now in effect for various businesses.

Beginning on Wednesday, restaurants, bars and gyms will require customers 12 years and older to show their vaccination cards.

Capacity is still capped at 50% and proof of a negative COVID test is not an option.

Wailuku resident Kevin Chapman said it’s a step in the right direction.

“I think it’s a good idea to have. It’ll make us safer I think. But I do think it will effect the restaurants’ bottom line in the end,” Chapman said.

While unvaccinated customers won’t be allowed to sit indoors, they can still dine outdoors or order takeout.

The General Manager at Koho Bar and Grill in Kahului is worried they may lose business.

“The fear is that people are going to come in with this misunderstanding that maybe it’s us. But we’re just enforcing the rules,” said Nohealani Johnson.

“If we could, we would love to serve everybody if we had outside seating. Unfortunately, we don’t. So we just have to abide by the rules right now and hopefully get through this rough time.”

Waiehu residents Christopher and Arlene Richardson say they won’t be eating out anymore.

“We came here for breakfast every Sunday at Koho’s and we miss it,” Richardson said. “I think the more you try to force someone to do something, the more they’re not going to do it.”

County officials said they are targeting high risk businesses where clusters have been reported.

Gatherings will be limited to five people indoors and 10 people outdoors.

The rules, however, have drawn mixed reaction from the community, with some supporting the mayor’s decision, saying it will help protect to the community, while others saying it’s an overreach.

[READ MORE: While some residents support Maui County’s vaccine order for businesses, some say it’s unfair]

The mayor said the new rules will be in effect for at least 30 days, then county officials will reassess.

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