Maui Mayor: No More Vaccine Requirement for Restaurants and Bars

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Mayor Michael Victorino Maui County COVID19 Restaurant Restrictions - sign language interpreter doing Hawaiian shaka sign

Starting Monday, February 21, 2022, proof of vaccination is no longer required to enter restaurants, bars, or gyms in Maui County.

Update 2/19/2022 by the Maui Happy Hours team:

As new daily cases of COVID-19 in Maui County continue to fall, Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino recently announced an easing of the county-wide restrictions for high-risk businesses.

“Beginning Monday, Feb. 21, proof of vaccinations will no longer–I repeat be no longer required–for indoor service at restaurants, bars, and gyms,” stated Victorino at a press briefing on Friday.

Currently, only diners with proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test are permitted to dine or drink indoors at Maui restaurants while the unvaccinated have been relegated to outdoor seating areas when available or forced to order takeout.

The indoor mask requirement, however, is a statewide mandate affecting all counties in Hawaii as part of Governor David Ige’s emergency proclamation. “So it will be up to the governor to lift the indoor mask mandate,” said Victorino.

PREVIOUS UPDATE 12/1/2021 by the Maui Happy Hours Team: Beginning December 1, 2021, Maui County restaurants and bars can return to full capacity without physical distancing requirements according to a recent announcement by Mayor Michael Victorino.

People can dine indoors with proof of full vaccination, verification of a negative COVID-19 test within 48 hours, or a signed letter from a medical provider confirming full recovery from a COVID-19 infection, according to a county news release.

“We are able to relax these restrictions because the people of Maui County have been mindful of the health and safety of others,” Victorino said. “With our low positivity rate and the ability to conduct outdoor activities in a safe manner, we feel comfortable loosening these restrictions.”

PREVIOUS UPDATE 11/20/2021 by the Maui Happy Hours Team: As of November 12, restaurants may operate at full indoor capacity. Restaurant patrons who want to dine inside must present a COVID-19 vaccination card or a negative test result taken within 48 hours. You can now have up to 10 people at your restaurant table. Live music, dancing, and karaoke are now allowed with certain restrictions (see county website).

Original Article:

During his recent press conference, Maui Mayor Michael Victorino issued updated restrictions for Maui County businesses starting Wednesday, September 15, 2021.

Under the new rules issued by Mayor Victorino, “bars, restaurants, gyms, fitness centers, and other “high risk” businesses may operate at 50% capacity indoors, provided that all customers 12 years of age and older provide proof of full vaccination.”

Unvaccinated patrons must be served in outdoor dining areas or with takeout or drive-thru service only.”

In addition, the proclamation states “Full or part-time employees must show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test taken within seven days.”

Maui’s rules also require boat tour companies, land tour companies, and ground transportation services to reduce capacity from 75% down to 50%.

According to the Mayor’s office, the new restrictions will be reevaluated in 30 days.

Mixed Reactions from Maui Residents and Restaurant Owners

The new restrictions have received mixed – and often very strong – reactions from Maui locals and visitors.

“Anyone know which businesses (food) are shutting down dining entirely and just doing take-out? Because they do not support the segregation. Not including food trucks. TIA 🙏🏼”

…asked Maui native and restaurant industry veteran Kehau De La Cruz of Kihei on her Facebook page, apparently seeking restaurants who are protesting the new vaccine requirement by closing their indoor dining areas completely.

While their reasoning is unknown, the popular Maui vegan and zero-waste restaurant Moku Roots is one of the restaurants that has opted to close indoor dining following Mayor Victorino’s announcement.

On September 14, the day before the updated restrictions took effect, Moku Roots posted the following to their Facebook page:

“Come enjoy THE LAST DAY OF INDOOR DINING on Maui with our loaded Mac and cheeze special with coconut bacon avocado and microgreens! Starting tomorrow we will proudly offer outdoor dining to EVERYONE and indoor dining to no one until we can offer that to everyone again. So put your vaxx cards away, I don’t want to see it, I want to see your beautiful smiling healthy faces, not your medical history.”

Most restaurants have been more reserved on social media, with some asking for patience from customers as they navigate difficult circumstances.

To read the entire 20-page announcement from the Mayor’s office, visit the County of Maui website.

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