Mayor Caldwell wants to allow dining in at restaurants by June 5

Coronavirus

Oahu residents could be sitting down in restaurants again on June 5. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell is asking for the governor’s approval, and the governor seems to be open to the idea.

Mayor Caldwell says he picked June 5, which is still more than three weeks away, because he wanted to see what happens after retailers have been open. That will give him and restaurants the flexibility to make adjustments.

“If everyone is really careful, we should see no uptick in cases. If there is an uptick and if it is significant, we have time to adjust and recalibrate whether we open up restaurants or not,” said the mayor.

He says he will leave it to the restaurants the number of customers allowed as long as they can be kept six feet apart. Workers will have to wear masks, and customers will have to enter the restaurant wearing masks.

“Customers would wear the face masks from the time they got out of the car, enter the restaurant, until they sat down. Once they sit down, they can take their face masks off,” said Caldwell.

Tables and chairs will have to be sanitized after each seating. Condiments will be served in single size packets. The mayor says menus and tableware will also be single use. Areas that are frequently touched like cash registers will have to be sanitized hourly. And he would prefer each eatery’s entrance to be separate from its exit.

“Having customers enter through one entrance and leave through another exit. So there’s one way traffic and people are not bumping into each other,” said Caldwell.

He also wants to give more restaurants the option of letting diners eat outside because he says it’s safer.

“So what we’re gong to be doing on a pilot basis is allow sidewalk and outdoor dining for our restaurants that interface with our sidewalks or abut next to our parks,” said Caldwell.

During his Facebook live, the governor did say that he has been giving more consideration to allow dining in at restaurants as well as opening hair salons. But he did not say when.

“Certainly it’s more risky, but we’re looking at CDC guidance and other guidelines for ways to keep employees and customers safe in those settings,” said Gov. David Ige.

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