Two weeks ago, Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi announced Hawaii’s first internal vaccine pass program. However, he pushed implementation off for a bit to give people time to vaccinate. Well, implementation is now here, and Safe Access Oahu begins today.
As I covered previously, Safe Access Oahu is a vaccine pass or testing program for “high-risk” indoor settings. It requires both employees of certain types of businesses to show proof of vaccination or negative test results as a condition of entry or employment. Impacted businesses include:
- Entertainment/recreational: Bowling alleys, arcades, pool/billiard halls, movie theaters, museums, other recreational game or entertainment centers, and the indoor portions of botanical gardens, aquariums, zoos, sea life attractions, commercial recreational boating, public and private commercial pools, shooting/archery ranges, and other commercial attractions (cultural attractions, go-kart, mini-golf).
- Restaurants and bars: applies to all indoor restaurants, food courts, etc. Take-out-only, delivery, and outdoor-only establishments are exempt.
- Gym/fitness centers: includes indoor fitness classes, pools, and even condo and hotel gyms.
Safe Access Oahu Begins Today
Today, September 13, is the first-day Safe Access Oahu rules go into effect. As a result, beginning today, all dine-in patrons need to show proof of FULL vaccination – meaning two weeks since your last dose – or a negative COVID test result from a test taken within the past 48 hours. For employees, those that don’t get vaccinated, weekly testing is necessary. Of course, take-out patrons do not need to show proof of vaccination. What’s more, while early discussions proposed eliminating all other restrictions, social distancing and capacity requirements remain in place thanks to our surging case numbers.
For those of you that are vaccinated, acceptable methods of prooving your vaccination status include:
- CDC Vaccine Card – physical copy or picture on your phone
- Hawaii SMART Health App
- Hawaii Safe Travels Vaccine Passport
- Vaccine Administration Management System
- State of Hawaii Department of Health Vaccination Record Report
If you want to go the testing route, you only need to get an FDA-approved PCR or antigen test.
Unfortunately, the pandemic remains a partisan issue, even here in Hawaii. But, it’s going to take all of us to get out of this mess. And, here in Hawaii, things are kind of spiraling out of control. So, while I don’t want to see us move back into tighter restrictions, I realize that we’re at the point now that we need to. Hopefully, then, Safe Access Oahu does what Mayor Rick Blangiardi says it will – help to slow the spread and give our hospitals some relief. I do think, though, that the program should’ve gone into effect sooner. Ideally, it would’ve begun before Labor Day, especially since officials were pleading with the public to stay home that weekend.