Oahu will move to Tier 3 on Thursday as COVID-19 case numbers remain low

Coronavirus

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Oahu residents and businesses will soon see some changes to tier restrictions, Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi announced during Tuesday’s news conference.

Oahu will move to Tier 3 on Thursday, Feb. 25, under Gov. David Ige’s amended Emergency Order.

Get Hawaii’s latest news sent to your inbox, click here to subscribe to News 2 You, a daily newsletter.

“I can only move the city one tier at at time, which is why we’re going to [Tier] 3 and making a special request for some modifications to the that tier,” Blangiardi said on Feb. 23.

One of the modifications the mayor hopes to make is to relax sports restrictions.

“We want to get people outside, especially our kids outside,” he said.

Blangiardi said the governor and the Hawaii Department of Health ultimately have the final say on whether Honolulu can relax additional rules.

The following activities and operations will be allowed starting Thursday:

  • Restaurants: groups of 10 people regardless of household/living unit. The capacity limit of 50% of legal occupancy is eliminated
  • Social gatherings: groups up to 10 people
  • Shooting and archery ranges: groups up to 10 people 
  • Certain real estate operations: groups up to 10 people
  • Retail and service businesses: groups up to 10 people. The capacity limit of 50% of legal occupancy is eliminated
  • Spiritual services: groups up to 10. The capacity limit of 50% of legal occupancy is eliminated
  • Funerals: groups up to 25 people
  • Gyms and fitness facilities: operate indoors at 50% capacity
  • Indoor group physical activity classes: groups no more than 10 people
  • Hawaii Golf Phase 3 to be issued by PGA Aloha Section shortly
  • Other commercial attractions: indoor groups of 10. The capacity limit of 50% of legal occupancy is eliminated
  • Commercial recreational boating: 50% capacity
  • Helicopter tours: groups up to 10. The capacity limit of 50% of legal occupancy is eliminated

All businesses and operations must still comply with social-distancing and face-covering requirements as outlined in the governor’s emergency order.

The Hawaii Restaurant Association Chairman Greg Maples said, removing the 50% capacity at restaurants will make a big difference in sales. He said, some restaurants did not open for dine-in because operating at 50% made it difficult to cover the costs.

“50% capacity for some restaurants, that just wasn’t plausible,” Maples said. “But when you have the only restriction that’s six feet, that’s a game-changer, it’s going to be a really good thing for us and the 10 per table is also a huge deal.”  

Blangiardi said, Honolulu would have to maintain a seven-day average case count between 20 and 49 during the week of Monday, Feb 15, to move into Tier 3, with a positivity rate between 1% and 2.49%. Tuesday’s numbers meet that range.

The Hawaii Department of Health reported 47 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, Feb. 23, bringing the state total to 27,270. No new coronavirus-related deaths were reported. The state death toll now stands at 431.

Oahu has been stuck in Tier 2 of the Reopening Strategy since October, 2020. According to Blangiardi, Tier 4 will not happen until Thursday, March 25.

Maples said, the next step is for the county to remove the 10 p.m. cut-off for serving alcoholic beverages but more changes are expected as the county moves forward with fewer COVID cases.

Maples said, “We have to continue to do our part and be smart. That will allow him the opportunity to work with the governor to help us get more back into our normalcy.”

For more details on the mayor’s Honolulu Reopening Strategy, click here.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories