Maui has become the first Hawaiian country to demand proof of a booster vaccine to allow people access to indoor venues such as restaurants, bars, and gyms.
The definition of “fully vaccinated” was amended in the updated guidelines to include only those who have received a booster shot five or six months after receiving the Pfizer or Moderna second dose or two months after receiving the Johnson & Johnson single shot.
“A completed vaccination card (…) in original, photocopied, or digital form; the Hawaiʻi Smart Health Card digital health pass; or other similar vaccination documentation from a healthcare provider are acceptable proof of vaccination,” according to the revised rules.
The added measure is being called a “vaccine update” and includes “everyone throughout the County of Maui,” said Mayor Victorino during a press briefing last week.
The new policy is being referred to as a “vaccine update,” and it covers “everyone in Maui County,” above the age of 18.
“If you go to a supermarket, very seldom do people walk in without a mask on, or most retail stores and other businesses. Many of them have signs on their doors–‘masks required’.”
“So I would say those in high risk are the ones that would be more applicable for this, and just using common sense would probably be the best way I could sum it up,” the mayor added.
The mayor has also encouraged people to get booster shots, citing new CDC research that shows booster vaccines provide the “best protection” against disease and hospitalization.
When failing to provide a booster certificate, tourists will be required to produce a negative COVID-19 test to access indoor venues.
Local businesses have begun to notice a negative impact since the regulation went into effect, not just because customers may not have a booster, but also because a large number of employees do not have it either.
Maui, which includes the islands of Maui, Lānaʻi, Kahoʻolawe, Molokai, and a section of Molokai, is the first county in the state to demand a “vaccine update”, but is expected that other counties follow suit.
According to Honolulu Mayor, the state plans to begin mandating booster vaccines for all international and domestic passengers from Feb. 18.