comscore Gov. David Ige is poised to allow some retailers to reopen their doors | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Hawaii News

Gov. David Ige is poised to allow some retailers to reopen their doors

  • CRAIG T. KOJIMA / APRIL 4
                                A window shopper walked past stores at Ala Moana Center last month where only a handful of them were open. Gov. David Ige will allow some “low-contact” retailers to reopen in the first phase of reentry.

    CRAIG T. KOJIMA / APRIL 4

    A window shopper walked past stores at Ala Moana Center last month where only a handful of them were open. Gov. David Ige will allow some “low-contact” retailers to reopen in the first phase of reentry.

  • BRUCE ASATO / BASATO@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                The barricades that kept people from accessing the Kapahulu Groin walkway during beach and park closures in response to the coronavirus pandemic have recently been taken down, allowing beachgoers to again walk to the end of the Waikiki attraction Sunday.

    BRUCE ASATO / BASATO@STARADVERTISER.COM

    The barricades that kept people from accessing the Kapahulu Groin walkway during beach and park closures in response to the coronavirus pandemic have recently been taken down, allowing beachgoers to again walk to the end of the Waikiki attraction Sunday.

  • STAR-ADVERTISER / APRIL 14
                                <strong>David Ige: </strong>
                                <em>The governor, shown with a mask during a news conference last month, will reinstate restrictions if there is a surge in COVID-19 cases </em>

    STAR-ADVERTISER / APRIL 14

    David Ige:

    The governor, shown with a mask during a news conference last month, will reinstate restrictions if there is a surge in COVID-19 cases

Gov. David Ige said he plans to sign an emergency proclamation today that will allow “low-contact” retailers to reopen as long as they can minimize contact between employees and customers to protect them against the new coronavirus.

Speaking at his daily briefing at the state Capitol, Ige said the retailers are included in the first phase of a plan to cautiously and safely reopen the economy.

“We intend to reopen all phases of our economy,” the governor said. “It is about balancing the risk.”

Ige did not specifically say which retailers would be allowed to reopen. However, he added that only businesses capable of maintaining proper social-­distancing measures or conducting business online or at curbside are being considered.

Earlier in the day, he told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s COVID-19 Care Conversation webcast that nonfood production agriculture, such as flower farmers, likely would be among the first businesses allowed to reopen under his phased plan.

Ige also said a select number of state parks would be reopened to allow people to exercise. The move echoes the actions of the state’s mayors, who previously allowed county parks to reopen.

The governor said only state parks big enough to allow for proper social distancing would be on the first-phase reopening list.

“It’s outdoors, and the risk of infection is low as long as it’s not large gatherings,” he said.

Ige said restaurants would not be among the businesses listed in today’s proclamation. He said they likely would be opened in later phases.

Ige said his administration is working with the Hawaii Restaurant Association to examine the best practices of other communities and states.

While takeout and delivery are already permitted in Hawaii, dine-in business likely would require reducing seating by 50% or 25% in order to keep patrons at least 6 feet apart, he said.

Earlier, Ige said he would start reopening the economy only if there was a declining trend in COVID-19 cases, along with enough capacity in the health care system and a robust testing program. He said those things have come to pass.

“Things are getting better every day. The numbers continue to look very good. With only one new case announced today, we are confident we have flattened the curve,” he said Monday.

But Ige cautioned that he would reinstate restrictions if there was a surge in cases.

Ige said he would look at reopening various sectors of the economy during May and would consider only businesses that can keep both employees and customers safe.

Ige last week gave the green light to certain real estate services, new and used car and truck dealerships, automated service providers, mobile service providers, services provided on a one-on-one basis, florists and public and private golf courses.

Ige’s point man on COVID economic recovery, Alan Oshima, has asked all Hawaii businesses and industries to envision what their sectors would look like in the post-COVID era, he said.

He said the plan is to focus first on businesses and organizations with the lowest risk from a health perspective and then expand to medium- and high-risk concerns.

Ige also said Monday that he would consider dropping the 14-day quarantine for interisland travel sometime this month. He said details still need to be worked out, but he is considering a phased approach that would see travel to only two islands at the start.

He said he is talking to the airlines to determine what is realistic from their perspectives. Opening interisland travel also might require coordination with hotels, he said.

The 14-day domestic and international travel quarantine would continue well after the interisland quarantine is lifted, Ige said.

Click here to see our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. Submit your coronavirus news tip.

Be the first to know
Get web push notifications from Star-Advertiser when the next breaking story happens — it's FREE! You just need a supported web browser.
Subscribe for this feature
Comments (73)

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Terms of Service. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. Report comments if you believe they do not follow our guidelines.

Having trouble with comments? Learn more here.

Scroll Up