Mayor Blangiardi announces the end of the City’s COVID-19 emergency orders, including the Safe Access O‘ahu program
Royal Hawaiian Band resuming full operations with complete ensemble
News Release from City and County of Honolulu, Feb 28, 2022
HONOLULU – Mayor Rick Blangiardi is announcing, for the first time since March 4, 2020, the City and County of Honolulu will not operate under an emergency order regarding COVID-19, as he will allow Emergency Order NO. 2022-01 to expire after March 5, 2022 at 11:59 p.m.
The decision not to extend the emergency order means the Safe Access O‘ahu program, which required businesses such as restaurants, fitness centers, and events that served food, to verify employees and customers were fully vaccinated or had a negative COVID-19 test, will no longer be a government mandate.
“The last two years have been filled with arduous moments that have impacted everyone in our community from keiki to kūpuna, which is why this is a seminal moment in our pandemic response as we end the City’s emergency order. Let us find joy in this moment as it brings hope, relief and positivity as we look forward to our new way of life where we live with, rather than are led by COVID,” said Mayor Rick Blangiardi.
“Our Safe Access O‘ahu program was implemented at the time of the Delta surge when many were calling for another complete shutdown, which we did not want to impose on our businesses. Instead we created Safe Access O‘ahu to allow businesses to continue to operate in a safe manner, while giving customers confidence and peace of mind in going to restaurants, bars and gyms. It has been highly effective and credited with identifying positive COVID cases that would have likely gone undetected in our communities and furthered the spread of the disease. We applaud the efforts and thank everyone who got vaccinated, boosted, and did all they could to fight this terrible virus. Ending our emergency order and the Safe Access O‘ahu program does not mean we are putting an end to acting safely as it relates to COVID, it means we are focusing our efforts on economic recovery and the return of much-needed community activities. This is an enormous step forward in a positive direction.”
While the City’s emergency order will expire, the public is advised that Governor David Ige’s current COVID-19 emergency proclamation remains in effect through March 25, 2022 unless terminated, superseded by a separate proclamation. In accordance with the Governor’s emergency proclamation, the following remains in effect statewide:
- All individuals shall continue to wear face coverings over their noses and mouths in indoor public settings;
- Rules relating to COVID-19 screening process and travel self-quarantine remain in effect (Safe Travels Hawai‘i);
- All City employees are still required to comply with the state’s COVID-19 vaccination requirements;
Proper use of face masks are still required on public transportation, including TheBus and TheHandi-Van, per federal guidelines.
The City’s free COVID-19 testing operations will continue until further notice with reduced operating hours, including at the Airport Mobile Lab located at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport, the Neal S. Blaisdell Center and the Tom Moffatt Waikīkī Shell. To find a testing site near you, visit https://www.oneoahu.org/covid19-testing.
The City is working to phase out its isolation quarantine facilities located at Harbor Arms and West Loch Modular on March 31, 2022. The isolation quarantine facilities were implemented to provide a safe place to isolate and quarantine for those who otherwise do not have a place to do so, as well as help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on O‘ahu. The demand for the facilities has dropped considerably with the dramatic reduction in positive case counts and hospitalizations.
The Royal Hawaiian Band poses for a picture on the front steps of ‘Iolani Palace
Mayor Rick Blangiardi is pleased to announce that, starting March 2, 2022, the Royal Hawaiian Band (RHB) will be reverting back to full band operations. At the start of the pandemic, RHB transitioned to assisting the City and County of Honolulu with Food Distributions, COVID Surge Testing and staffing the COVID-19 Call Center. When COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic opened at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center, the RHB performed at the opening, and 5 days a week, 3-4 hours a day from January 25 to May 27, 2021, to the delight and enjoyment of people in their post vaccine observation holding period.
The RHB has since been transitioning from small 4-6 person ensembles to full band services, pending restrictions and the health of the community.
“We wholeheartedly welcome back RHB! Our community needs culture and music, now perhaps more than ever,” said Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi. “I can’t thank the members of the Royal Hawaiian Band enough for their generosity of spirit and remaining flexible in lending their invaluable support to our community during the pandemic. We are thrilled to have the talented men and women back at their work of creating beautiful music and performances. Mahalo to Bandmaster Clarke Bright, and all the members of the Royal Hawaiian Band for stepping up during this public health crisis to help our community. I can’t wait to hear the full ensemble perform once more!”
“We are excited to get back to our normal public service with our full band at various community locations,” said RHB Bandmaster Clarke Bright. “We have received numerous performance requests from the community and believe this timeline for a return to full operation is in line with the present health of the City & County of Honolulu.”
Below is a list of concerts scheduled in the coming weeks. All of these events are open and free to the public.
Thursday, March 3, 11 a.m. – International Marketplace
Friday, March 4, 12 p.m. – ‘Iolani Palace
Saturday, March 5, 10:15 a.m. – Honolulu Zoo
Sunday, March 6, 1 p.m. – Honolulu Zoo
Wednesday, March 9, 11 a.m. – Ala Moana
Thursday, March 10, 1 p.m. – Moana Surfrider Hotel
Friday, March 11, 12 p.m. – ‘Iolani Palace
Saturday, March 12, 8:15 a.m. – Kapi‘olani Park Bandstand – National Kidney Foundation, Kidney Walk
A full schedule of events, and additional information can be found by visiting: www.rhb-music.com
Feb 28, 2022: Free swim returning to City park pools in March!