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Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi allows bars to reopen, lifts attendance limit for funerals

  • Video by Honolulu Mayor's Office

  • STAR-ADVERTISER FILE
                                Mayor Rick Blangiardi held his first press conference outdoors on Jan. 14.

    STAR-ADVERTISER FILE

    Mayor Rick Blangiardi held his first press conference outdoors on Jan. 14.

UPDATE: 11:30 a.m.

Starting today, bars will be allowed to reopen under the same conditions as restaurants, funerals will no longer have restrictions on the number of attendees and businesses will be allowed to serve alcohol until midnight.

Structured events, such as graduations and seminars are also now permitted, as long as 6-foot distancing is maintained.

Outdoor youth sports will resume on April 12 with no spectators or potlucks. Outdoor adult sports will restart on April 19.

“This one is for our kids, and even for those adults about the stuff playing sports,” Mayor Rick Blangiardi said.

“It would be good to get out and play, and save it for another day to play in front of the big crowds.”

Participants will be required to wear masks at all times, even while playing.

To streamline the permitting process, Honolulu Parks and Recreation Director Laura Thielen said the city would temporarily not charge any fees. She encouraged teams to start calling park staff to begin reserving fields and courts.

However, permits will be revoked for teams that do not follow the safety guidelines. Those who do not abide by the rules will receive two verbal or written warnings from the city, then a suspension of the permit before it is revoked.

“We do not want to revoke a single permit,” Thielen said. “We want everybody to be out playing.”

The Honolulu Police Department will be surveilling park fields and teams playing to ensure that the safety guidelines are being followed, Blangiardi said.

Indoor sports will not be permitted until Oahu moves to Tier 4 which would require the seven-day average new case count to remain below 20, and the island’s seven-day positivity rate to stay under 1% for two weeks.

No modifications were made to weddings which can still only have 10 people in attendance.

Blangiardi explained that weddings should be treated differently than funerals.

“Funerals are not scheduled events, people are dying, and we want to be able to go about life with the right way of treating that experience,” he said.

“Weddings, on the other hand, are celebratory, and a lot of other things that right now, it’s just a bridge too far.”

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Youth sports will restart on April 12, Mayor Rick Blangiardi said. The original target date was March, but it was pushed back to account for the reopening of schools, he said.

Bars will also be allowed to reopen and operate under the same conditions as restaurants, Blangiardi said. The 10 p.m. curfew will also be lifted and bars will be able to serve alcohol until midnight, he said.

Some other changes include allowing “structured live events” like graduations and seminars. “We’re going to allow that to happen in venues like the convention center, third-party conference room banquet halls of whatever,” Blangiardi said.

Other changes include:

>> Funerals will no longer be restricted to a 25-person limit

>>All organized outdoor team sports will be allowed to operate starting April 12 with masks required and no spectators

>> Categories for transportation, tours, helicopter/plane tours and skydiving are being adjusted for consistency with other categories and associated risk levels to address issues raised by FAA

You can watch the video of the news conference above or on Mayor Rick Blangiardi’s Facebook page.

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