The Hawaiian Island of Oahu has announced that it will drop its “Safe Access Oahu” program on March 6th, ending many restrictions on restaurants, bars, and gyms.
Under the Safe Access Oahu program, patrons were required to show proof of vaccination or a negative test before entering such businesses, with the establishments required by law to check and enforce paperwork.
Those requirements will be dropped two weeks from now, allowing restaurants and other establishments to operate as they did prior to the pandemic.
The only exception is that the indoor mask mandate will remain in place.
Per the mandate, customers must wear a mask unless they are actively eating or drinking; however, it is rarely enforced in this way.
Typically, customers wear their masks while walking to their table, then are able to take it off. Employees and servers, however, must be masked up the entire time.
As of this writing, Hawaii is the only state with an indoor mask mandate. The State’s emergency proclamation runs through March 25th, although the governor can drop the mandate at any time.
According to local news outlets, most businesses are relieved that Safe Access Oahu’s vaccination requirements are going away, although it has been reported that some businesses may choose to enforce their own rules and still require proof of vaccination to enter. Be sure to check with individual businesses for their policies when visiting.
According to the Hawaii Department of Health, COVID-19 cases dropped by 64% between February 5th and February 18th. As of this writing, more than 75% of Hawaii’s residents have been vaccinated.
Though vaccination and testing requirements are changing on individual islands in terms of day-to-day living, the Safe Travels Hawaii program still requires proof of vaccination or a negative test when flying into the state in order to avoid quarantine.