HONOLULU (KHON2) — Oahu has entered Tier 4 of the recovery framework after Gov. David Ige approved Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi’s request to advance the City into the next tier, with some modifications.
The shift will give businesses more flexibility with fewer restrictions.
The expansion allows social gatherings of up to 25 people outside and 10 people inside.
During a news conference on Friday, June 11, the mayor said vaccinations are key to easing restrictions with the hope of ending the tier system altogether.
Blangiardi says he will have to rely on the honor system for businesses to enforce the testing and showing proof of vaccination because the City just does not have enough resources to check all the different venues.
The mayor adds that Oahu is at a good place with low case counts and hospitalizations, so it will be good for everyone to keep cooperating.
“The one thing we will do, if suddenly people are just being totally in violation of the rules, if there’s a cluster or something happens, I’ll close it down,” said Blangiardi.
Promoters say concerts by local artists could be happening soon at venues like the Waikiki Shell and the Blaisdell Concert Hall. The plan is to have a separate entrance for those who are vaccinated and another for those who will need to get tested, and then have them sit at separate areas. The hope is that an overwhelming majority are vaccinated because testing will lead to delays.
“If you’re vaccinated and you have your card, you have your proof you can go right in, that’s one line. The other line is the line I hope we don’t have,” said Barb Saito, concert promoter.
The City says people can also show proof of a negative COVID test within the past 48 hours if they are not vaccinated. But the sentiment is the same for nightclubs and karaoke bars.
“Because it’s so new, try to plan it out. But I think for now, we know the fully vaccinated will be easy to implement,” said Kylee Lin, owner of Air Park Karaoke.
Businesses and event promoters say the move to Tier 4 is encouraging. They say Hawaii is still months away from big-name concerts at large venues. The challenge is avoiding long wait times to get in.
“The key is that each venue needs to come up with a queuing plan because that’s what’s necessary for us to keep people comfortable while they’re waiting to get in, and also speed the process up as much as possible,” said Saito.
Under Tier 4:
- Indoor organized sports are allowed. Spectators are allowed at up to 33% capacity.
- Commercial recreational boating is allowed without any capacity limit, but restaurant/bar rules will still apply if food/beverage consumption is allowed.
- Blangiardi also clarified that bars must still close at midnight.
- Social establishments such as dance, nightlife and karaoke are allowed at up to 50% capacity if all attendees are tested or show proof of full vaccination.
- Outdoor weddings are allowed with up to 200 people.
- Indoor events such as concerts, meetings and conventions are allowed with a mitigation plan and 50% capacity if all attendees are tested or show proof of full vaccination.
- Outdoor events at venues with defined capacity limits are allowed with a mitigation plan, 33% capacity or 67% capacity if all attendees are tested or show proof of full vaccination.
- Outdoor events at venues without defined capacity but have controlled ingress and egress are allowed with a mitigation plan, at 30 individuals per 1,000 square feet or 60 individuals per 1,000 square feet if all attendees are tested or show proof of full vaccination.
- Arcades are allowed without capacity limit. Restaurant/bar rules will still apply if food/beverage consumption is allowed.
- Road races and triathlons will be allowed with a permit.