UPDATE: 2:45 p.m.
Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi is loosening COVID-19 restrictions allowing bars and restaurants to stay open until 2 a.m. effectively immediately, and allowing more vaccinated people at indoor and outdoor events beginning Nov. 3.
The announcement comes as Oahu’s vaccination rate has increased to 90% of eligible people having at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and the city has seen a decrease in hospitalizations, Blangiardi said.
“We go forward carefully,” Blangiardi said during today’s press conference. “We go forward with loving our hearts and concern for our public, but we go forward.”
“We’re going to do that in a very positive way.”
Starting Nov. 3, restrictions for larger events will be loosened:
>> Outdoor seated events will allow full attendance of all vaccinated patrons. Masks are required.
>> Indoor seated entertainment venues will allow full attendance with everyone vaccinated. Water only. Masks are required.
>> Road races and triathlons will allow unlimited vaccinated participants with staggered starts of 200 people. Masks will not be required.
>> Indoor interactive events will allow 50% venue capacity or 150 people maximum with everyone vaccinated. Food and beverages are allowed. Masks are required.
>> Outdoor interactive events will allow 500 maximum people with vaccination required. Food and beverages are allowed. Masks are required.
This means that events such as the Honolulu Marathon will be allowed to resume.
Beginning Nov. 24, restrictions will be further loosened allowing 300 vaccinated people maximum at indoor interactive events with masks. Outdoor interactive events will also be allowed to operate at full capacity, with mask wearing and attendees are required to be vaccinated.
Blangiardi explained that while the state agreed with the city administration’s decisions on the outdoor events, there was a difference of opinion on the indoor events. State health officials thought a more conservative approach would be appropriate, he said.
“I think we’re in one of those conversations where we agreed to disagree, in a professional way,” Blangiardi said about his conversations with Gov. David Ige.
“We understood the responsibility we could take,” he said. “So it was on us.”
Blangiardi also announced that he would be extending the Safe Access Oahu program which requires patrons at establishments such as bars, gyms and restaurants to show a proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result within the last 48 hours, through Christmas.
“We believe that safe access to Oahu has been highly effective … it’s spurred, and there’s been research to support this, an increase in vaccinations, but it’s also a spurred activity in restaurants,” he said.
“We’ll evaluate it from there will make decisions about the coming New Year.”
Effective Nov. 3, indoor and outdoor professionally managed events will be allowed to operate at 100% capacity with 100% vaccination, according to Blangiardi.
Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi is holding a press conference at the Neal Blaisdell Center to discuss easing COVID-19 restrictions for managed events on Oahu.
Speakers include University of Hawai’i Athletics Director David Matlin and Healthcare Association of Hawai’i President/CEO Hilton Raethel.
Watch the livestream video above or on Mayor Blangiardi’s Facebook page.
Editor’s Note: This story is developing and will be updated as soon as more information becomes available.