State authorities have unveiled a roadmap to reopening Hawaii’s economy. The reopening will be broken up into five phases, with each phase allowing for progressively larger social gatherings.
Businesses evalauted to present a higher risk for spreading the COVID-19 virus may soon be allowed to resume operations. The state is currently in the second of five phases, each of which are color coded by severity. The initial phase, in red, was the full lockdown.
Gov. David Ige said on Monday that Hawaii is currently in phase two, the orange category. But during a press conference, Ige the state will soon begin the transition to the less restrictive third, or yellow phase that will allow the resumption of most business activity and some public gatherings.
The ultimate goal is to reach the fifth and final phase, coded with the color blue, in which there will be no significant disruption to daily life. The easing will continue over the coming weeks, with plans to reach the third phase in June.
"Assuming our disease activity remains manageable, beginning in June we will begin to reopen first our medium-risk and high-risk operations," Ige said. "We still need to limit gatherings. However, we envision a gradual phasing in of larger gatherings as we progress through the impact levels, from 10 to 50 to 100 people or more."
Medium and high-risk establishments include gyms and fitness centers, places of worship, and museums, and restaurants. Bars, clubs, and large venues are ranked in the “highest risk” category and would remain closed until the final phase.
The governor says he remains committed to making reopening decisions based on science, data, and the recommendations of public health experts.
The Reopen Hawaii plan was unveiled after several weeks of infighting within the adminsitration held up final approval.
Last week, the director of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, National Guard Major General Kenneth Hara, cautioned that continued delay in announcing the path to reopennig could incite civil unrest.