Organizers call for a return of live events soon

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HONOLULU (KHON2) — The COVID-19 pandemic has made it tough for Current Affairs, a production and events company that has been around for almost 40 years. Its founder Philip Richardson said he formed a coalition with others in the live events industry to amplify their need to work.

Richardson said they worked on a drive-through event over the holidays, but aside from that, in-person events have not happened.

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Neither Tier 3 or Tier 4 allows for large events or conventions. Richardson said these types of events can be done safely if they follow a COVID-10 safety structure.

“If we don’t know if we can get back into business,” Richardson said. “We can’t even start planning. So those events can’t happen, even if they’re in three or six months later, because they take months of planning.”

Richardson is now part of the Hawaii Events Coalition along with others who work in event planning as well as event suppliers. They are making their voices heard to lawmakers about their need to be included in the reopening tiers.

The group’s safety structure for events includes checking staff and guests for symptoms, keeping people socially distanced and having physical barriers in place.

“Everyone who’s in the room is vaccinated,,” Richardson said. “And we’re following the protocol that I just mentioned moments ago of six-foot, mask and handwashing”Then, surely, we’re now driving on to a successful platform for success. Right?”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released considerations for events or gatherings. It said the virtual activities remain the lowest risk for the virus, while large gatherings with little to no social distancing remain the highest risk.

A spokesperson for Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi said, while events like conventions are not included in Tier 3 or 4, they are not ruling out future discussions if conditions improve.

Richardson said Current Affairs is beginning to get more calls from people interested to host events, but they are unable to move forward in most cases due to the limits on gatherings.

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