Blangiardi says city will likely drop Safe Access Oʻahu requirements in March
Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi says the city will likely drop vaccine or test requirements for patrons of restaurants, bars, gyms, movie theaters and other venues in early March.
Blangiardi told Hawaii News Now that he's unlikely to extend the emergency order when it expires March 5.
Safe Access Oʻahu launched in September 2021.
The mayor said he would likely sunset the program somewhere in the middle of March.
Safe Access Oʻahu requires all patrons to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test to enter restaurants, bars, gyms and more.
The restaurant industry has mostly supported Safe Access Oʻahu, saying checking vaccination cards and test results is a hassle but preferred over other restrictions.
University of Hawaiʻi economists also found the program helped to boost vaccination rates on Oʻahu.
The state separately still has its indoor mask mandate in place, and a vaccine or test rule for many state properties, including libraries.
Meanwhile, new research shows almost three-quarters of Americans likely have some level of immunity from the omicron variant because of the wave of winter infections.
Local infectious disease expert Tim Brown says there's waning immunity, and believes people should still be careful about relaxing precautions.