HONOLULU (KHON2) — With just one new case of COVID-19 Monday, Governor David Ige said in a press conference that he will issue another order that would allow retailers to open. However, there are a lot of factors that come with that including safety, and security when everyone is wearing a mask.
The Retail Merchants of Hawaii said they are working off what they’ve seen stores opened so far do, like add sneeze guards, require masks and utilize sanitizer. But they are still waiting to hear from the governor before finalizing any guidelines.
“Limiting the number of people in their store, or you know having by appointment only where you can come in… But until the governor has this proclamation and gives us guidelines, you can’t really plan for it, because you need to know what he’s going to allow us to do,” said Tina Yamaki, Retail Merchants of Hawaii president.
Some local malls and stores have been working on preliminary reopening guidelines.
At Pearlridge Center, one of the biggest malls on Oahu, their guidelines so far include: practicing social distancing, using a mask, forbidding gathering in groups, and following each store’s COVID-19 policies.
They will also be setting up signs to remind people how to stay safe and have revised their code of conduct posted at the mall and online.
They will also continue cleaning the mall thoroughly. In a statement, they said:
“In addition, Pearlridge Center’s already rigorous disinfectant and cleaning practices will continue, many times per day, including periodically disinfecting areas most susceptible to the spread of germs.”
At local boutique Mikinola, owner Dara Fujio said they’ve come up with a new way for customers to shop at their store, which they started in March.
“We had appointment only, so we had only one person in at a time. We’re probably going to do that,” said Dara Fujio, Mikinola owner. “It’s one on one with me and an employee. I think it’s better having the store to yourself.”
Along with that customers will be required to wear a mask and gloves.
“We wanted to be safe and I wanted to protect my employees too because we just don’t know,” said Fujio.
Tina Yamaki said the Retail Merchants of Hawaii intend to finish the local guidelines for retailers this week, but they want to make sure it’s done correctly.
One of the concerns they need to address is safety with wearing masks, dark glasses and hats while shopping. To prevent thefts, stores are considering shorter hours, new security measures and limiting store access.
“Right now it’s just retailers going through it with a fine tooth comb we’ve been meeting every other day on this or so getting feedback,” said Yamaki.
But one thing is for sure, both Fujio and Yamaki say things won’t be the same from here on out.
“Even though we do go back in the store and try to go back to normal, I don’t think it will be, but you have to look at it like this is just a new way of shopping,” said Fujio.