Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi is considering implementing a mandatory coronavirus vaccine, or testing requirement to visit restaurants.
He stopped short of announcing the program due to an afternoon meeting with Gov. David Ige and other county mayors that could alter the plan.
“We were going to go ahead with a vaccine passport and we’re prepared to execute bold ideas,” Blangiardi said today on the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s Spotlight Hawaii livestream show.
“I just don’t want that to get lost on this pending discussion with the governor and the other mayors right now to be sure that when we do make an announcement that we’re not going to say this and the next day or two it’s something else. It’s very fluid.”
The proposal would have required patrons and employees to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within the last 72 hours. After talking to the Hawaii Restaurant Association, the city was going to instead require 60 days of weekly testing for unvaccinated employees and monitor the data for levels of infection that would then trigger mandating the vaccine for workers.
However, the plan is now on hold as Blangiardi is meeting with the governor and other county mayors to discuss plans for possible further restrictions.
Blangiardi urged people to get vaccinated as Honolulu’s total population vaccination rate is at 64%. According to state health data as of Thursday, 62.6% of the state’s total population has been fully vaccinated.
“This is not a circumstance about individual rights. This is about community health,” he said. “I don’t know what else I can possibly say to those people that I’ve seen firsthand, they’re so hostile and angry about this. I just hope you don’t get sick and I hope you don’t die.”