Hawaii resort becomes first in state to mandate proof of vaccination for guests, employees

Hawaii resort becomes first in state to mandate proof of vaccination for guests, employees
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A Hawaiian resort is set to become the first in the state to require its employees and guests to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19.

Hotel company Highgate announced Wednesday that 'Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach, in addition to several other properties, would require patrons, employees and guests to show they have been vaccinated amid a surge of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, The Associated Press reported.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser noted that the policy applies to people ages 12 and older. Some exemptions due to medical and religious reasons may be granted.

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Highgate Hawaii’s senior vice president of operations, Kelly Sanders, said about 80 percent of the roughly 1,000 people working at the seven properties with the new policy have been vaccinated already, according to the AP.

The news comes as Hawaii Gov. David Ige (D) asked visitors last month to stay away from the islands until the end of October, saying "It's not a good time to travel to the islands."

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the state saw 497 new cases Tuesday and 742 cases the day prior. By comparison, cases were as low as double digits in early July.

About 86 percent of people in Hawaii aged 12 years and older in the state have been at least partially vaccinated while 76 percent of that group has been fully vaccinated, per CDC data.

Last month, the city of Honolulu announced that it would be requiring those looking to enter gyms, entertainment venues and restaurants to show a negative COVID-19 test or proof of vaccination starting on Sept. 13.

Additionally, employees and volunteers at those venues will be required to show that they have been fully vaccinated or provide a weekly negative COVID-19 test. 

The Hill has reached out to Highgate for comment.