HONOLULU (KHON2)– A new round of restrictions for Oahu, limiting gatherings to no more than five people. It allows most non-essential businesses to remain open, as long as they follow the five-person limit.

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Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said he had a choice of either using a hammer or a scalpel to try and stop the spread of COVID-19, and he chose a scalpel. So gyms, movie theaters, and museums can remain open. Restaurants can still have dine in service.

The new emergency order called Act Now Honolulu-No Social Gatherings, limits any gathering both indoors and outdoors to five people. Masks will be required at malls, even when outside. The mayor is also urging for as many people to work at home as possible.

The restrictions start Thursday and will be in effect for 28 days. And for those who have to work at the office, their employers are asked to take steps to prevent workers from gathering.

“We want all common areas for eating closed other than to go and heat up your food, but not open for people to come in and have lunch,” said Caldwell.

He says spiritual services will still be allowed, but there will be no singing or playing wind instruments. Bars remain closed because they’re considered high risk establishments. Many of the businesses that were closed during the initial lockdown will remain open.

“Restaurants, retail, spiritual services, offices, fitness centers, personal services, childcare, education, healthcare, auto dealerships, and real estate,” said Caldwell.

The mayor says he’s already talked to HPD about enforcing the new orders, but is also asking the public to comply.

“So we can open up again and be a healthier community and have a healthier economy. And that only happens if we all do our part,” said Caldwell.

Otherwise, he says we could go back to a total lockdown.

Gov. David Ige also announced that the pre-testing travel program that was set to start in September 1 has been pushed back to October 1 at the earliest.

“We will continue to monitor the conditions here in Hawaii as well as key markets on the mainland to determine the appropriate start date for the pre-travel testing program,” said Ige.

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