WAILUKU, Hawaii (AP) — Proof of vaccination is now required to patrons who want to sit inside Maui bars and restaurants.
Vaccination cards must be shown for indoor dining and drinking as well as for communal areas in businesses like gyms under Maui's “Safer Outside" program, which launched Wednesday.
Some businesses made changes to accommodate more people outside, The Maui News reported.
The owners of several restaurants and bars closed indoor seating entirely.
Stillwell Bakery & Cafe transitioned to outdoor seating early in the pandemic and is now increasing its outdoor capacity.
“We’re trying to find that balance between making sure our community is safe but also taken care of and fed,” said Matt Portilla, the cafe's managing partner.
“It’s hard; there’s not a lot of places," Portilla added. "They’re shutting down left and right.”
Patrons had mixed reactions.
“I have heart and kidney problems," said Maui resident Taka Harada, who was eating at a local restaurant. “So I’m more comfortable now.”
But patron Darren Yamamoto doesn’t feel any safer.
“I think it’s more virtue signaling. I think it makes people feel good," he said. "Why can’t we all just make our own decisions?”
A similar program began Monday on Oahu. Unlike the “Safe Access Oahu,” program, the Maui rule does not allow for a recent negative test alternative.