Following in the footsteps of Honolulu, Maui is planning to require vaccination for indoor dining and drinking beginning Sept. 15.
Anyone wishing to eat or drink inside a restaurant or bar in Maui will have to prove they've been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Unvaccinated visitors will be allowed to dine outdoors or order takeout. Children under 12 are exempt.
Mia Shimabuku/Getty Images
The measure is part of a new set of coronavirus restrictions that the island plans to enforce for at least 30 days. Bars and restaurants will also have to close by 10 p.m. and tour companies will have to limit capacity to 50% under the new rules.
"If the numbers don't come down over the next 30 days, we may have to implement stricter rules and stricter mandates,'' Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino said in making the announcement.
Hawaii has seen a surge in COVID-19 cases worrying enough that Governor David Ige publicly asked travelers to postpone their island escapes. "We do know that it is not a good time to travel to the islands," he said in a recent news conference.
The volume of new COVID-19 cases in Hawaii has been rising since July, reaching nearly 67,000 since the pandemic began, according to data being tracked by The New York Times.
More than 11,000 of those cases have been reported in just the past 14 days, according to the Hawaii Department of Health. Meanwhile, Hawaii's statewide positivity rate has risen to 7.2%. In Maui County, that figure stands at 6.3%.
In Honolulu, proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test is required indoors at bars, restaurants, and museums. Visitors can show their vaccination card, a photo of their card, or digitally through Hawaii's Safe Travels app.
Meena Thiruvengadam is a Travel + Leisure contributor who has visited 50 countries on six continents and 47 U.S. states. She loves historic plaques, wandering new streets and walking on beaches. Find her on Facebook and Instagram.