Oahu weddings may see the number of guests allowed in the city’s Tier 3 reopening plan bumped up to 25 from the current 10.
Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi plans to ask for a meeting early next week with Gov. David Ige and Hawaii Department of Health Director Libby Char to discuss the Tier 3 restrictions for weddings.
“I’m prepared to go back to the State Department of Health and say, ‘you know, can we just have 25 people as a structured event,’ and we know the protocols we’ll adhere to those,” Blangiardi said on the Star-Advertiser’s Spotlight Hawaii today.
In the initial modifications for Tier 3 that lifted capacity for funerals and allowed organized sports to resume, officials thought that due to the celebratory nature of weddings, it would not be prudent to increase capacity.
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Although the wedding industry held a demonstration on Thursday outside Honolulu Hale, Blangiardi said that was not the only reason he is now considering taking this request to the governor.
“I was wanting to wait a little bit,” he said. “We want to see the impact of the modifications. Our sports haven’t started yet and just to be sure the numbers stay safe.”
Blangiardi also addressed the Honolulu rail program which was recently found to have some defects, requiring a portion of the tracks to likely be changed out, potentially delaying the opening of the project another year.
Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation Interim CEO Lori Kahikina notified the mayor that the rail project up to Aloha Stadium, would be turned over to the city by the of the year, leaving it up to Blangiardi to decide whether to start service up to that area.
However, with the recently found defects and the rail only being able to service up to Aloha Stadium, Blangiardi leaned against starting service as soon as it is available.
“I’m not going to just simply arbitrarily say, ‘as soon as it’s ready to operate, we’ll start operating it,’ that still up in the air, we’re going to make a lot of determinations based on things that we’re learning now,” he said.
“Right now, today, in all honesty, and as candid as I can be, I don’t know if that’s possible.”
The cost of rail has ballooned to $12.4 billion, and the completion date is now March 2031.