City To Reopen Slowly With Restrictions on Businesses, Activities

Sep 23, 2020

Most Oahu businesses and activities that were shut down under the city’s stay-at-home order can restart beginning tomorrow but with restrictions. 

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell unveiled a new plan yesterday that lays out just how the city will slowly reopen. 

The first stage of Oahu’s second reopening will end a month-long lockdown caused by a surge in coronavirus cases.

Mayor Caldwell’s new, four-tiered plan eases the city from under its second stay-at-home order that took effect in August.

But the city hopes this time, the reopening will be slow enough to prevent a spike in COVID cases.

The mayor says exactly when things can reopen is driven by two factors – daily COVID cases and the rate for positive tests.

"It’s a more open and transparent type of plan, where the residents of this island can know at any given time how we’re doing and whether we’re going in the right direction or the wrong direction. And what happens when you cross that line," he said.


Initially, in the first tier of the plan, small groups will be allowed.

"We’re going to allow social gatherings, you don’t have to be from the same household or living unit or family unit, to five. Beaches, parks and trails will allow five people together. Pools, both public and private, will be open to lap swimming only," he said.


"Real estate will be open to five. Indoor car dealerships, five by appointment only. Retail, 50% of capacity. But that same requirement is going to be applied to the big box stores, that have been open all along."


Malls, bowling alleys, hair salons, and barbershops can restart but not massage or tattoo parlors.

And restaurants can reopen their dining rooms – but with conditions.

"Restaurants are opening at 50% capacity. Tables have to be five feet apart, only five people at a table. Five people have to be from the same family or living unit or household unit. It has to be by reservation, or you have to give your names of all those who show up at the restaurant. We need addresses, names for contact tracing – should we see a spike in the virus.


"Masks must be worn at all times except when you’re eating and drinking. So when you sit down and talk story before you order, you’re wearing your mask. When you’re pau eating, you put on your mask. No liquor served in any restaurant after 10."


Caldwell says if the city sees cases arise from restaurants, they could be restricted again to take-out or outdoor dining.

Business offices can reopen, but companies are encouraged to continue remote work. Gyms are allowed, so long as they are outdoors.

Museums, zoos, aquariums and movie theaters can reopen their doors – but with limited capacity and distancing required.

The mayor says Oahu will be under the restricted first tier for at least the next four weeks.


CCH Reopening Framework and... by hawaiipublicradio