HONOLULU (KHON2) — As Oahu gets set to allow larger gatherings, Maui Mayor Mike Victorino asked Gov. David Ige to drop some COVID restrictions, but the rules will be different on the valley isle.
Maui Mayor Victorino said he asked the governor to loosen restrictions and change the limit for indoor gatherings from 25 to 50 people, as well as outdoor gatherrings from 50 to 200 people. He also wants restaurants to be allowed capacity anywhere from 75% to 100% — instead of the current 50%.
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Unlike Honolulu, Maui allows customers in restaurants who are not vaccinated against the coronavirus, as long as they show proof of a negative COVID test within the past 48 hours.
Honolulu restaurants are still only allowed 50% capacity, and it is something Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi was hoping to change.
“I know it’s been very hard on them. We talked about it yesterday, openly, at the conference. We’re hoping the governor will come along and approve the fact that we want 100% capacity at restaurants, bars and gyms,” Honolulu Mayor Blangiardi said.
Kauai and Big Island officials said they have no plans to make any changes for now. Social gatherings are still limited to 10 people indoors and 25 outdoors for both counties.
As for organized events, Kauai can exceed 40% capacity inside and 100% capacity outside, as long as everyone shows proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test result within 24 hours. On the Big Island, up to 50 people are allowed for organized recreational activities at county facilities.
With capacity for restaurants in all counties still limited to 50% on Oahu, the industry said it is critical to allow more people in with the holiday season approaching.
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“So, if there was ever a time to take a chance on us, it’s now. Because if not, it’s gonna hurt our economy, and what’s going to happen is you’re going to have restaurants that won’t open,” said Greg Maples, chairman of the Hawaii Restaurant Association.