Maui County to require eligible patrons at restaurants, gyms to show proof of booster

With the highly contagious Omicron variant, there’s a growing movement to require a third booster shot to qualify as fully vaccinated.
Published: Dec. 30, 2021 at 3:21 PM HST|Updated: Dec. 30, 2021 at 5:24 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Starting Jan. 8, Maui County will require patrons at restaurants, bars and gyms to show proof they’ve received a booster shot if they’re eligible or tested negative for COVID.

It’s for the first county to revise the definition of “fully vaccinated” to include a booster dose.

Oahu is considering a similar change, and the state is also eyeing a booster requirement for trans-Pacific travelers seeking to skip Hawaii’s quarantine requirement.

The new rule comes amid a surge in new COVID infections statewide.

Maui County Mayor Mike Victorino said the change recognizes the importance of booster shots in reining in record case counts and preventing serious illness.

“Science says that after the second shot of Pfizer and Moderna vaccinations or the single Johnson & Johnson shot vaccinations weaken after about six months,” Victorino said.

“Beginning Jan. 8, that means patrons who seek service indoors need to show proof that they’ve received a booster shot as soon as they are eligible, which means after six months have passed since the last dose or Pfizer or Moderna, or two months after Johnson & Johnson.”

He noted that people can continue to dine outdoors without showing proof of vaccination or a test.

It wasn’t immediately what the impact of the change will have on Maui County businesses.

But state Health Department data shows just 20% of Maui residents have gotten a third dose of the vaccine. That’s lower than the statewide figure: 24.7%.

This story is breaking. Keep checking back for updates.

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