Governor didn’t approve city’s planned reboot of large indoor events but has no plans to stop it
HNN: … Gov. David Ige says he’s not comfortable with the city’s plan to allow large indoor events on Oahu, but won’t stop Honolulu’s mayor from moving forward.
Ige says indoor “interactive” events ― like weddings ― pose the highest risk for COVID transmission.
In a statement, he also said the state will continue to work with the city to “discuss the risks and the city’s responsibilities in responding to a surge in COVID-19 cases if one occurs.”
The city’s decision to move forward with plans to dramatically ease restrictions on large events without the state’s approval is a departure from how the county and governor operated earlier in the pandemic.
In April 2020, during the first COVID lockdown, Ige said changes regarding any COVID emergency rules by the counties needed his OK. But after more than a year and a half of pandemic restrictions, some county mayors appear to have had enough waiting on the governor.
“This is about going forward and living with it,” said Blangiardi. “We have shifted from a pandemic to an endemic,” he added.
Colin Moore, director of UH’s Center for Public Policy, said it appears the mayors are “no longer willing to toe the line” when it comes the governor’s approach to COVID.
On Wednesday, in announcing his plan for large events, Blangiardi acknowledged the state Health Department and governor were opposed to restoring indoor entertainment venues to full capacity.
The mayor did, however, have the blessing of the Healthcare Association of Hawaii.….
KHON: Maui mayor wants to loosen COVID restrictions on large gatherings, restaurant capacity
read … Governor didn’t approve city’s planned reboot of large indoor events but has no plans to stop it
City eases COVID-19 restrictions for managed events
News release from City and County of Honolulu, October 27, 2021
HONOLULU – Mayor Rick Blangiardi is thrilled to announce the City and County of Honolulu is easing restrictions for managed events if all attendees are vaccinated and safety measures are followed.
“I sincerely thank the people of O‘ahu for their tremendous cooperation and caring in our combined efforts to fight back against this deadly disease. It is time to make long awaited positive changes for our businesses and event organizers, because O‘ahu continues to have some of the best numbers in the country in terms of COVID-19 vaccination rates, hospitalizations, and case counts,” said Mayor Rick Blangiardi. “We are within two months of Christmas and the holiday season is before us. We are opening up our venues in a safe and smart manner. We want to especially thank our many businesses, small and large, who have remained patient and cooperative throughout the pandemic. This reopening plan is possible because of everyone’s stellar efforts.”
The first phase of the Safe O‘ahu Response reopening plan begins Nov. 3, 2021, followed by phase two on Nov. 24, 2021.
On Nov. 3 through the end of the year, both indoor and outdoor seated entertainment will be able to operate at full capacity with 100% of attendees vaccinated and masked. Concessions will be limited to water only. These events include sports arenas and concert venues with assigned seating.
Indoor interactive events are currently not allowed with more than 10 people, however beginning Nov. 3, they will be able to operate at 50% capacity with a maximum of 150 people (including employees). Beginning Nov. 24, they will still be able to operate at 50% capacity, however the maximum number of people will increase to 300 (including employees). Attendees must be vaccinated and masked while not eating or drinking. Employees, contractors, vendors, etc. who are working the event must follow Safe Access O‘ahu guidelines. Food and beverages will be allowed in both phases.
Beginning Nov. 3, outdoor interactive events will operate at 50% capacity, with a maximum of 500 people (including employees). On Nov. 24, they may operate at full capacity of the venue. Attendees must be vaccinated. Employees, contractors, vendors, etc. who are working the event must follow Safe Access O‘ahu guidelines. Food and beverages will be allowed in both phases.
Indoor and outdoor interactive events include traditional events such as weddings and funerals.
Children under the age of 12 are allowed to attend the managed events.
A mitigation plan must be submitted to the City for all of the managed events at https://www.oneoahu.org/mitigation-plan
Beginning Nov. 3, road races and triathlons will be allowed without capacity limitations. All participants must be vaccinated. There will be staggered starts of groups of 50. Beginning Nov. 24, the staggered start limit increases to 200 participants. Post event gatherings will be allowed under the applicable event category guidelines.
On Oct. 8, the sale of alcohol was extended to midnight. Effective Nov. 3, establishments offering or allowing liquor for on premises consumption may sell, serve, and allow consumption of liquor consistent with their liquor license with normal operating hours.
O‘ahu residents are encouraged to visit https://www.oneoahu.org/ for more information and access to resources. The City’s COVID-19 information call center remains open every day from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., except on holidays. People can call the (808) 768-CITY (2489) information hotline or email: firstname.lastname@example.org