Gov. Ige allowing large gatherings is a step forward; raises hope for bigger events

Coronavirus

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Gov. David Ige’s announcement on Friday, Oct. 8, to allow large gatherings fell short of expectations. But there is hope that bigger events will be allowed if conditions improve.

Of the 1,000 people who will be allowed at the next University of Hawaii (UH) Manoa home game on Saturday, Oct. 23, UH said most will consist of the team’s friends and family. Extra room will be left for about 100 students and 150 season ticket holders. They will have to show proof of COVID vaccination through the UH LumiSight app.

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“Obviously you’re going to have reserved seats for the football game, which will help us with contact tracing and to keep people socially distanced. But the LumiSight app is key to this to ensure that people are vaccinated and, obviously, the other protocols are having your masks,” said UH Athletic Director David Matlin.

While there is optimism that more fans will be allowed in the last two home games in November, Matlin said it is hard to say how many.

“For right now, our focus is just to do a really good job with the thousand, and I am optimistic if we do that, if things continue to trend in the same direction, I am optimistic that those numbers can go up and will go up,

UH Athletic Director David Matlin

Those in the wedding industry said allowing 150 people at outdoor events is a good step forward; however, the amount of people indoors is still limited to 10.

“It’s a small bummer, but we totally understand the reasoning, the rationale behind it. I think when you look at the theaters and restaurants and what not, we do believe that they could be managed safely,” said Tessa Gomes of the Oahu Wedding Association.

Live events coordinators also said they are pleased that they can move forward with booking business that have been in limbo since gatherings were banned.

“We’ve got a lot of business here on Oahu for the month of November and December, and people have been hopeful and selling tickets and moving forward with their plans. But it was certainly a risk, and this is a big relief,” said Heather Bailey of the Hawaii Events Coalition.

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With road races capped at 500 participants, that falls far short of what the Honolulu Marathon anticipated. But organizers are holding out on hope that the limit will be raised in the upcoming weeks.

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