Vaccination card checks at businesses run smoothly, but there’s some pushback

Published: Sep. 17, 2021 at 10:01 PM HST|Updated: Sep. 18, 2021 at 11:19 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Oahu and Maui have been requiring vaccination cards or negative COVID tests to enter certain establishments, like bars, restaurants and gyms.

On Oahu, restaurants have been reporting very few problems so far, but there’s still some pushback from some businesses.

Showing a vaccine card and ID are now part of the ritual to dine in at places like SkyBox Tap House, a new sports bar at the International Marketplace in Waikiki.

“We already had the contact tracing forms, as well as temperature checks and social distancing and masks required, so it was just one extra safeguard we’re adding now,” said Alan Wiltshire, vice president of operations for SkyBox and sister restaurant Shore Fyre.

Staffers at the restaurants have been trained to handle situations that could arise if someone doesn’t want to follow the mandates.

“We haven’t had any issues,” said Wiltshire.

“It’s been less than three people between all three restaurants that had not wanted to comply, and they were all fine with not entering the restaurant, so I think it’s been going well.”

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Patrons and workers may feel safer, but there are still concerns about the high case counts.

“A lot of people are talking about the percentage of vaccines, right? But the numbers are still going up, so a lot of them are saying, ‘I don’t know if this is going to work or not,’” said Danson Young, who works at another restaurant and was enjoying a pau hana drink at the bar.

As for pushback, TJ’s Sports Bar and Grill doesn’t agree with the mandate but is still following it to stay in business.

However, it has an Instagram post that seems to suggest using Photoshop to make a vaccination card, with the hashtag #donttakethisposttooseriously.

The bar owner declined an interview, but the state Attorney General’s office said in a statement: “We want to remind everyone that falsified CDC cards are a federal offense, and in Hawaii, using falsified proof of testing or vaccination documents is also a state offense.”

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