Gov. David Ige announced today that the state will begin reopening the economy in phases, starting Friday with a limited number of businesses suggested by the county mayors.
“Hawaii, we are almost there,” Ige declared at a briefing held at the Capitol this afternoon.
Ige said the state has seen six or fewer cases of COVID-19 in the last 10 days and it appears “the curve has been flattened,” prompting the easing of restrictions.
However, the governor said a second wave of the virus is a real possibility and he might have to reimpose restrictive measures if there is a surge in new cases.
The businesses being reopened with limitations include certain real estate services, new and used car and truck dealerships, automated service providers, mobile service providers, services provided on a one-one-one basis and public and private golf courses.
Ige also announced a new statewide relief program for those affected by the coronavirus outbreak called the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, or PUA.
Through the federal CARES Act, PUA “extends eligibility to individuals who normally do not qualify for traditional unemployment benefits” like those who are self-employed or are gig workers, according to the website.
The program can be accessed at pua.hawaii.gov and is accepting pre-applications and processing around May 15.
Gov. David Ige will hold a press conference at 2:30 p.m. today to discuss the latest updates on the coronavirus outbreak in Hawaii.
He will be joined by Lt. Gov. Josh Green, State Dept. of Labor and Industrial Relations director Scott Murakami and Dept. of Health director Bruce Anderson.
Watch the livestream video above.