Oahu reopens under tier 1 for at least a month


HONOLULU (KHON2) — It is the first day of Oahu businesses reopening after the latest stay-at-home order.

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The City and County of Honolulu will operate under tier 1 of the COVID-19 recovery framework and will remain there for at least four weeks.

For Kai Suzuki of Waikiki Momosan, he has been anticipating for this day to come and the second stay-at-home order to end.

“Dine-in sales in most restaurants will make up more than 50% of their sales. In fact, in some restaurants, it will be more,” said Suzuki.

Bars and night clubs are still closed until tier 4, which some are calling unfair.

“Let us open with restrictions, like restaurants. And if we’re not doing the job, then fine us and shut us down. But until then, I think we need to have the opportunity to work,” said co-owner of Ferguson’s Irish Pub Danny Dolan.

The city is looking into some kind of licensing program for bars so they can possibly reopen sooner, and is currently working out the kinks in current enforcement rules.

“The mayor understands the impact of closing things permanently. So he’s trying to look for different alternatives to give people hope,” said Gary Kurokawa, who is Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s Chief of Staff.

Shops that provide nail and hair services are allowed to open. Mayor Caldwell says that they chose those services because they are safe to operate with all the protocols in place. But the owner of the Lashout Bar in Kapolei says that beauty shops like hers are licensed under the same agencies and should not be excluded from reopening. Owner Gina Francisco would be allowed to operate, but only outside.

“We all follow the same sanitation and disinfection guidelines,” said Francisco. “We can’t just go to a park and pop up a tent over there. That’s not sanitary. So it’s very difficult to say, we can open if we do services outside.”

City officials say that they will continue to work with the business community, but are sticking with the tiers for now.

“There is not an appeals process. We don’t do individual exemptions. We try to keep it as structured as we can,” said Hiro Toiya, Honolulu’s Director of Emergency Management.

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