Hawaii gyms, restaurants, events look to survive more restrictions

Coronavirus

HONOLULU (KHON2) — With COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations soaring new restrictions are rolling out state-wide.

Effective immediately bars, restaurants, gyms, and other social establishments will once again have to limit indoor capacity to 50%. Social gatherings will now be limited to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors.

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For professional events with more than 50 people, for example, concerts and weddings, those will require approval from the county they’re being held in.

Raymond Ho Jr. of TMR Events is organizing the Alohalaulea Block Party 2021 scheduled for September 4th at Aloha Tower.

“We have a mitigation plan, obviously after today’s press conference,” Ho Jr. said. “We might have to tweak it a little bit. But, who knows the governor or the state might not let us allow it just because it’s a large gathering.”

Many restaurants came up for air this summer as the pandemic seemed to be stamped out by vaccines. Now, with the Delta variant spreading, people at restaurants will not be able to mingle with others not in their group. Restaurants must keep people seated at least six feet apart.

“We had a little bit of an indication that this was going to happen, remembering that most restaurants are at 50% capacity-ish because of the six feet between the tables,” Hawaii Restaurant Association Chair Greg Maples said. “So we’re going to see some restaurants that are going to make some adjustments but overall it’s not going to be as impactful some other dire restrictions.”

Gyms have been hit particularly hard by the pandemic, but some are using their experience to keep customers safe. For example, Honolulu Fitness Center in Aina Hina is using fob keys to control capacity. Staff is able to keep an eye on capacity using an app, which also tells them when their busiest times are.

“What we did learn is that on average people tend to stay at the gym for about 90 minutes,” head trainer Aubrey Carlson said. “So if we calculate everyone coming in, we control the capacity that way. That seems to work out pretty well.”

She admits that the announcement of restrictions sting, but says that gyms know how to push through.

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“Hearing this is just kind of taken us down a little bit,” she said. “So it’s just a little discouraging but it’s okay. We’re going to do what we have to do to put a cap on this thing, you know. As long as we have access here to the gym for everyone to stay healthy.”

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