HONOLULU (KHON2) — Coronavirus had yet been detected in the islands this time last year, making this the first Valentine’s Day with COVID-19 restrictions yet. Restaurants are hopeful people will feel comfortable making reservations.
Hawaii’s Weather Station–Visit KHON’s storm preparation page here.
Nearly a year into the pandemic, the Hawaii Restaurant Association Chairman Greg Maples said they had the time to implement safety protocols.
“You’re going to see all the COVID-19 guidelines in place, so the restaurants know what they are doing,” Maples said. “But I personally think we’re going to probably see anywhere between 50% to 60% of the sales we saw last year.”
Maples said the impact on sales is also associated with restrictions from the virus. He is in favor of the county coming onto the next reopening phase.
“We’ve been in this Tier Two for a very long time,” Maples said. “Our numbers are pretty good. I think it’s time that we can loosen up a little bit.”
At the same time the Department of Health cautions against taking the virus lightly. A more contagious variant of coronavirus was detected.
DOH spokesperson Brooks Baehr said it is healthy for people to enjoy their special day, but they should keep a mask on as much as possible.
“Think of putting the mask back on as a show of affection,” Baehr said. “You’re really telling the person that you’re with that, hey, I care about you.”
The CDC has also released its advice for Valentine’s Day. They recommend going on a walk with your valentine, make cards at home or have a picnic outdoors.
Other businesses impacted by the pandemic, such as movie theatres, are also making a pivot, couples can book an entire auditorium at Consolidated Theatres.
“To rent a theatre, it would cost about four to five times more than what we’re offering it right now,” Kyler Kokubun, Consolidated Theatres Marketing Manager said. “Definitely, a unique opportunity that in a different time, it probably wouldn’t be available as Valentine’s Day is usually one of our busiest days.”
DOH keeps a close eye on holidays or events for possible clusters. This past Sunday’s big game and Valentine’s Day included.