Honolulu will require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test for entry to restaurants, bars, indoor gyms and entertainment settings beginning Sept. 13, as the number of COVID-19 cases on Oahu continues to spike amid a nationwide summer surge.
The citys new mitigation effort, dubbed the Safe Access Oahu program, will also require that all employees, contractors and volunteers at specific businesses including restaurants, bars, gyms, movie theaters, museums, arcades and other establishments show proof of a completed vaccination series or a negative COVID-19 test every week.
The measures will remain in effect for 60 days, according to Hawaii News Now. Children under 12 years old will be exempt.
The city said it will accept a hard copy of a state-approved vaccination card, a photograph or digital copy of a state-approved vaccination card or a Hawaii state-approved digital or smart device application confirming a completed vaccination status for proof of inoculation.
Full vaccination, city officials noted, means two weeks have elapsed since receiving the second dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine or the single dose of a one-shot inoculation that has been authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Acceptable negative tests, according to the city, must be authorized by the FDA or an approved molecular or antigen test that was taken within 48 hours of entry to the business.
Identification confirming the information associated with the negative test will also be required for entry, according to the city.
The new policies will go into effect for all institutions included in an emergency order Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi signed on Monday.
This is about public health with numbers like nothing weve seen before, Blangiardi said, according to Hawaii News Now. Were begging, begging people to get vaccinated and anywhere we can enforce it we will.
He also said the city is trying to rebuild.”
We dont want a lockdown, he added.
Hawaii has seen a spike in COVID-19 infections since early July, with the number of new daily cases jumping to 1,658 on Sunday, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The surge comes amid a nationwide increase in coronavirus cases driven largely by the highly infectious delta variant, which has become the dominant strain of COVID-19 in the U.S.