Oahu hair salons and barbershops could reopen this Friday, if the governor approves the mayor’s latest request. Mayor Kirk Caldwell also wants to open gyms and theaters by the middle of next month.
The idea is to get the economy moving forward again. The mayor also wants to get offices on Oahu to open on June 5, which should give restaurants a needed boost.
“As you know this is the same time we’ll be opening restaurants. Downtown restaurants need downtown customers, so offices will be opening up along with other offices around the island,” said Caldwell.
First up though, Caldwell wants to open the Honolulu Zoo, Sea Life Park, Kualoa Ranch, and other outdoor operations on Friday. Barber shops, hair salons, and others in personal services will also be allowed to reopen. Other counties have already taken that step but Caldwell says Oahu had to wait because it deals with considerably more people.
“We were ranked as one of the most dense places per square mile and so our concerns were just a little bit different than the neighbor islands, where you have a lot more land and fewer people,” said Caldwell.
The mayor has sent the request to Gov. David Ige who has to give final approval. Caldwell expressed optimism but the governor said late Tuesday afternoon that he can’t comment on it yet until he sees the request with the safety guidelines. If all goes as planned, the mayor is also asking to open gyms, theaters, and museums on June 19. Caldwell says he’s relying on the industry associations and getting input from their experts to provide the guidelines to keep workers and customers safe.
“I think people will see that it’s gonna be done in a safe way. It’s gonna protect our health. No responsible gym is gonna open up unless they show and demonstrate to their customers that it’s a safe place to come and exercise,” said Caldwell.
Social distancing and wearing face masks will still be recommended. The mayor also wants to loosen restrictions on social gatherings. Up to 10 people can gather outdoors even if they’re not from the same household on Friday. And he wants to allow indoor gatherings of up to 10 people on June 5.