Happy New Year! I cannot believe it ~ here we are entering into 2022, and we’re still dealing with Covid. Hello Omicron. Sigh. I’m sure this isn’t what you want to be hearing about, but how about an update.
Omicron on Maui
Omicron has been sweeping the world. As elsewhere, our Covid numbers are way up here on Maui (and Hawaii), clocking in at 317 cases yesterday. One new development is that starting January 8 on Maui you need to show proof of booster to be considered fully vaccinated. This currently doesn’t affect the Safe Travels vaccination exemption for US mainlanders to come to Hawaii, nor the CDC rules for international travelers.
You will need proof of booster to eat indoors at restaurants, bars and use gyms etc. There is no standard proof of vaccination app in Hawaii. Just make sure you have a copy of your vaccination card and ID.
With the rise in case numbers it has gotten difficult to find Covid testing. At last check there are no at home Covid test kits to be found in stores. The County has added more free community testing, but you may need to show proof of residency to access that. If you are traveling to Canada, you will need a pre-travel Covid test to return home. If you know your return date, book that TODAY as they are hard to come by.
New Years on Maui
This year there will be two fireworks displays in Maui County – one here in Wailea from a barge offshore from the Grand Wailea. It will start around midnight. The second one is at the Four Seasons on the island of Lanai.
Additionally, locals like to celebrate by shooting off fireworks in their own neighborhoods. This is illegal without a permit. Every year there are injuries reported (I believe last year a younger boy lost a finger, and a few years ago a firework actually went right through the truck window of a guy driving through a neighborhood). Every year the police promise they are cracking down on these events, but…… we’ll see if this is the year.
You can also buy firecrackers at most grocery stores – we will be lighting some as a family this year again, followed with the kids’ traditional Shirley Temple drinks. Please note, the condo complexes do NOT allow firecrackers on property for safety/insurance reasons.
Our family’s tradition
Our family has a tradition of watching the Vienna Philharmonic New Year’s concert on New Year’s Day. I remember watching it on public TV as a kid growing up in Austria. The beautiful waltzes, polkas and marches of the Strauss brothers and other Austrian composers, coupled with the beautiful Austrian scenery. See the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra’s website for the history of these concerts. I just checked last night, the concert is still on despite Omicron. PBS will be broadcasting parts of it with Hugh Bonneville narrating again this year.