Maui County drops booster mandate for restaurants, bars as COVID cases drop

Maui was the only county to implement the booster mandate that isn't even required under safe travels.
Published: Feb. 4, 2022 at 5:08 PM HST|Updated: Feb. 7, 2022 at 8:18 PM HST
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WAILUKU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Maui County dropped its requirement that patrons at bars, restaurants, and gyms show proof of getting a booster shot to be considered fully vaccinated.

The requirement took effect Jan. 24 and dropped Monday.

Maui Mayor Mike Victorino said he was making the change to the county mandate because COVID infections are on the decline.

“We are relaxing the pandemic rules to a degree due to the number of cases dropping through county and state, and hospitals lessened with the burden of high numbers,” he said.

Maui’s daily infection average is down over 70% in the past two weeks.

Maui was the only county to implement that mandate and its not required under safe travels.

And on Monday, several residents said they felt it was unreasonable.

“I didn’t agree with it right now. I think they still need to check what the federal mandates are going to be. To haphazardly make your own mandate, I thought was jumping the gun a little,” said Wailuku resident Montgomery Chong.

Chong said he supports the vaccine mandate, but felt a booster requirement was going too far.

“I think it hurts business. Until we get more information, I don’t see a need for it,” Chong said.

Koho Bar and Grill in Kahului doesn’t have any outdoor seating. The general manager said they really suffered when the booster mandate was in place.

“It was a short time, but in a short time, it did make a big difference,” said Nohealani Tom.

Tom said there was some confusion on Monday.

“I had couple people call and asked about the removal of the mandate today,” Tom said.

“They were a little bit unclear about the message saying their understanding was that they didn’t need a vaccination card at all. And I was like, no, you still you need a vaccination card.”

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