HONOLULU (KHON2) — Starting Oct. 22, Oahu residents can go out to dinner with friends, work out at an indoor gym and even get a massage.
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Those activities will be allowed as Oahu enters Tier 2 of the reopening phase, which was approved by the governor.
Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said that Oahu residents did a good job in keeping COVID-19 cases down for the past four weeks. But he cautions that if we let our guard down, we go back to Tier 1 restrictions in just two weeks.
“In the next two weeks, if the number of cases go above a hundred for two weeks in a row, the seven-day average, we go back. I don’t want to go back ever again,” said Mayor Caldwell.
Social gatherings are still limited to five people. But people from different households can go eat at a restaurant together, arcades will be open, helicopter tours can operate at 50% capacity, legal vacation rentals will be permitted, massage and tattoo parlors can reopen, and gyms are allowed 25% capacity indoors.
As of Wednesday, the daily average is 64 cases and the positivity rate is 2.9%. The daily average has to stay below 100 and the rate below 5% to stay in Tier 2 for four weeks. For Tier 3, cases have to be 49 and under and the positivity rate has to be less than 2.5%. That would allow social gatherings of up to 10 people and 50% capacity at gyms.
There is concern that getting to the next level will be more difficult with thousands of visitors arriving daily.
“I think the answer depends on the residents of the City and County of Honolulu and our visitors, by the way. If we do everything that’s required of us, I believe we can actually get to Tier 3 and even down to Tier 4,” said Mayor Caldwell.
Tier 4 would allow up to 25 people at social gatherings. Mayor Caldwell adds that he is meeting with the Hawaii Tourism Authority and the hotels to help educate visitors about following the rules to keep COVID cases down. He estimates that there are more than 10,000 people under quarantine on Oahu. He also met with HPD and hotel security officers to make sure those under quarantine are staying put.
“The good news is the hotel security guys are stepping it up. They’re calling up to rooms to make sure people are there three times a day, and if they don’t answer the phone, they’re calling the room phone not their cell phone, they’re knocking on the door,” said Mayor Caldwell.