Coronavirus rules loosen before spring break while officials advise vigilance


HONOLULU (KHON2) — One of the amendments made to Tier 3 by Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi was that starting on Friday, March 12, bars would be allowed to reopen. Groups will still be limited to ten people and they have to be served through sit-down service only.

The reopening comes ahead of a big week of celebration with Spring Break and St. Patrick’s Day coming up.

The City and County of Honolulu had shut bars down back in August, 2020. At the time bars had been linked to a cluster of COVID-19 cases and some were not following safety guidelines.

Lt. Gov. Josh Green said, everyone needs to work together this time.

“As long as people are pretty careful … I will tell you, a lot of people need a drink after dealing with COVID for a year, but be very safe,” said Green. “You know, we’re trying to get balance, opening the economy with being safe.”

He said, people should still take precautions.

“You still want to socially distance,” Green said. “Don’t go into a packed bar. Don’t, you know, be around a group of people without a mask on.”

Some bars say they are doing additional things to keep their staff and customers safe.

“(Kelly O’Brien’s) actually has partitions on the bar that are moveable. Two or three people can be sitting at the same group together but they’ll be separate from everyone else,” said Bill Comerford, Hawaii Bar Owners Association president and owner of Kelly O’Brien’s. “As you come to the door, they’ll check your temperature. They’ll make sure you’re wearing a mask. They’ll ask you the questions – do you have a cold or a sore throat?”

Honolulu police are also asking for cooperation — especially with spring break.

“We we want people to enjoy this time with family and friends, but we just got the tier three. What we don’t want is for people to let their guard down.”

,Capt. Randall Platt, HPD District 4 Captain

Police say they will be patrolling beaches and areas where there have been large parties in the past to make sure people are following the gathering rules.

“If everybody just really does their part, and takes care of their own responsibility and acts, not in a selfish way, but realize that we’re part of a – we have to work together to keep the numbers down,” said Capt. Platt. “We need to be vigilant, and not going to a party mode and lose all the gains that we’ve made to get here.”

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