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Waikiki resort mandates COVID vaccination for workers, guests – Honolulu, Hawaii

Honolulu, Hawaii 2021-09-08 20:14:07 –

Honolulu (AP) — A resort in Waikiki’s famous tourist mecca, the first resort in Hawaii to require all employees and guests to certify COVID-19 vaccination.

Beginning October 15th, Alohilani Resort will require you to present proof that your employees, patrons and guests are fully vaccinated. This requirement also applies to six other Waikiki properties owned or operated by Highgate, a real estate investment and hospitality management company.

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Kelly Sanders, Senior Vice President of Operations at Highgate Hawaii, is right because Hawaii is working on a surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

According to the State Department, between August 30th and September 5th, there were an average of 706 newly confirmed cases per day across Hawaii. The vaccination rate in Hawaii was close to 76% for those over 12 years old. Children under the age of 11 are not yet eligible for shots.

“So, at least for now, I think we’ll be the safest hotel in Hawaii,” Sanders said to announce a mandate before Wednesday’s press conference. “And hopefully it helps our business and doesn’t hurt our business.”

John de Fries, president and chief executive officer of the Hawaii Tourism Board, said the move was a step in the right direction and hoped that other hotels would follow suit.

“I’m grateful for that that our community, our workforce, and our guests are all mutual beneficiaries of this decision by Highgate,” he said. “And I look forward to getting a lot of attention from other people in the industry.”

Hawaii workers and Honolulu City employees are required to present evidence of vaccination or undergo a weekly COVID-19 test. Honolulu requires patrons of restaurants, gyms, bars, cinemas, museums and other businesses to present evidence of vaccination or recent negative tests from September 13th.

Alternative tests are not allowed at hotels in Waikiki, but medical or religious exemptions are granted and children under the age of 12 are exempt, according to Sanders.

“We want to create an environment where everyone can come to work comfortably,” Sanders said. “To be honest, I don’t think we can do that from an employee’s perspective unless we require all patrons and guests to do the same.”

According to Sanders, the seven facilities have about 1,000 employees, with an estimated 80% already vaccinated.

Highgate’s decision on vaccination is due to Hawaii’s tourism-dependent economy trying to recover from the early days of the pandemic when the state imposes compulsory quarantine on all immigrants.

Travelers can now bypass quarantine by presenting evidence of vaccination. Others must have a negative test result before leaving for Hawaii to avoid 10 days of quarantine.

As of the end of last month, about 75% of visitors are providing vaccination cards, said John Monahan, president and chief executive officer of the Hawaii Visitors Convention Bureau.

Find more news on COVID-19: Cases, Vaccinations Coronavirus news page

The move is “a high standard of what you expect when you arrive here, your own well-being as a traveler, and respect for the community and work environment you are visiting … you live in. Set to “become”. Defries said.

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