The Honolulu mayor is making changes to bar and restaurant COVID-19 guidelines, currently singing is not allowed inside businesses, making it a tough reopening for karaoke establishments, but a new order sent to the governor makes adjustments to the rule.
Air Park Karaoke Lounge was among the many bars to reopen its doors this past weekend, although it was quieter than usual without its main attraction, the singing.
The lounge co-owner, Kylee Lin, said they followed the Honolulu guidelines that prohibits singing in their establishment, many of their usual customers decided to go somewhere else since karaoke was not an option.
Lin said, “Air Park is known for karaoke, that’s why they call us and want to come in and to say sorry we can’t let you sing karaoke but you can come drink and eat, it’s like they can go to any other bar and do the same thing.”
The no singing rule is not part of the state’s COVID-19 best practices for bars and restaurants, but it is up to the City and County of Honolulu to enforce its rule.
The rule was first placed since droplets that may be infected with coronavirus can travel through singing or speaking.
Over the weekend, Lin said she got reports of other businesses not abiding by the regulations.
“It breaks my heart a little bit to see that some places are not following the guidelines when they suppose to,” Lin said. “Businesses like ours we are following and being law-abiding, however, we are kind of getting the short end of the stick.”
Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s office said they are requesting changes with the governor’s office to allow singing inside restaurants and bars.
A statement from Mayor Caldwell’s communication team said:
Currently, no singing is allowed in bars or restaurants, including karaoke establishments. We’ll be sending an order to the governor today, that allows singing inside bars and restaurants without a face covering, provided that the individual who is singing is able to maintain at least 10 feet of distance between themselves and others, and a Plexiglas barrier is utilized. Singing outdoors without a face covering will be allowed provided 10 feet of distance or more is maintained. No Plexiglas barrier mitigation will be required for vocalists performing outdoors.
It is an update for Honolulu bars and restaurants that will give businesses such as Air Park Karaoke Lounge a better chance to remain open.
Lin said, “There’s no way air park can operate as a regular bar without providing karaoke, and survive the next two months.”
Mayor Caldwell’s changes were sent to the governor’s office on Monday.