HONOLULU (KHON2) — Oahu residents will wake up under a new tier with fewer restrictions, announced Mayor Caldwell in a news conference on Wednesday, Oct. 21.
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The mayor said he originally sent the order requesting to move into Tier 2 on Tuesday, Oct. 20. By Wednesday, Hawaii Governor David Ige verbally agreed to approve the mandate allowing the anticipated progression to take place.
“Come midnight tonight, we move into Tier 2,” said Mayor Caldwell. “I’m asking all of us to do our very best to remain in Tier 2. It’s easy to go back and I don’t want to go back ever again.”
The mayor expressed optimism about keeping the average case count below 100 and even making it to Tier 3 in the coming weeks.
Tier 2 is set to go in effect at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 22.
The general manager of Dave & Buster’s Hawaii, Andrew Shimabukuro, said that they will reopen the game room portion of the restaurant as soon as the order takes effect.
“Gaming is about 50% of our business, as a company as a whole, so it is a big chunk of the business,” Shimabukuro said. “Because we are able to turn our games on it helps me bring a lot of our staff back.”
Gatherings of five or less will still need to be maintained at the restaurant but they will be able to sit people from different households under Tier 2.
Shimabukuro said, “Still going off the five person per party that walks in but now you don’t have to be from the same household.”
Meanwhile, Chef Guy Smith, who co-owns Chao Phya Thai Restaurant at Windward City Shopping Center, said he hopes that the change to allow people from different households to dine together will boost their business.
Smith said they are taking plenty of food app delivery orders, but those apps also take a portion of his food sales.
Smith said, “How much profit can you really make when you’re selling, you know, like a chicken pad thai noodle dish and you have a vendor that takes their commission.”
Arcades such as Fun Factory will also be allowed to reopen in Tier 2 at 25% capacity.
The President and CEO Linda Fernandez said that workers are cleaning the games and equipment all in preparation. Although operating at 25% capacity does not begin to cover the overall effects of the pandemic. Fernandez is hoping to move forward to the next tier soon, as it would allow them to open at half capacity.
“Everything is being cleaned, again, and again and again we have all of the policies, we are really good at this now,” Fernandez said. “We do the very best we can at it, but we do hope that we go from two to three quickly because even 50% is tough.”
Here is what will reopen under Tier 2:
- Personal care services can reopen.
- Indoor gyms and fitness facilities can operate at 25% capacity.
- Restaurants will be able to extend dine-in services to groups of five or less from different households.
- Legal short-term vacation rentals will be permitted.
- Arcades can operate at 25% capacity.
- Helicopter tours can operate at 50% capacity.
Several gyms and personal care businesses announced that they are already gearing up to reopen, however, remain cautious of how long Tier 2 will last.
Under the recovery framework, Oahu could revert back to Tier 1 if the daily case average exceeds 100 for two consecutive weeks. This would force newly opened businesses to shutdown again.
Bars and nightclubs are to remain closed under the new tier.
To read the drafted order, click here.
For more information, click here.