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Easing restrictions

LIHU‘E — Both Gov. David Ige and Mayor Derek Kawakami announced coming relaxed restrictions on Tuesday, with Kawakami canceling the overnight Kaua‘i curfew and Ige announcing a list of businesses that can reopen on Thursday.

Those businesses include shopping malls and retail stores, car washes and pet groomers, and health-care and social-assistance agencies, including elective surgery and non-emergency services.

And, in preparation, organizations like The Shops at Kukui‘ula are gearing up to open storefronts that aren’t already open under “essential business.”

Stacie Chiba-Miguel, property manager at The Shops at Kukui‘ula, said management is excited to hear retailers have been given the green light to reopen, and they are looking forward “to opening up our retail shops and welcoming back our local shoppers in a safe manner.”

“In the coming days, we will be working with our retail merchants to implement safety protocols for their shops,” Chiba-Miguel said. “This is in addition to the safety measures we already have in place at the center. But we will also be installing hand-washing stations and property signage to promote social distancing and wearing of face masks. We encourage the community to visit our website or follow us on social media for the most updated list of merchants open.”

Ige announced the list in his seventh supplemental emergency proclamation relating to COVID-19, illuminated in his Tuesday public address, explaining the move puts Hawai‘i in the “stabilization phase” — opening up businesses with a low risk of disease spread from a public-health perspective.

Ige said the full list of businesses would be posted online along with his seventh supplemental emergency proclamation.

Other businesses that can open include non-food-related agriculture, like landscaping companies, apparel and electronics stores, warehousing and wholesale operations.

Criteria for businesses that will be allowed to reopen relates to the ability of businesses to keep both employees and customers safe and their ability to follow social-distancing guidelines. All of the mask mandates, sanitation rules and social-distancing regulations remain in place.

Already, florists and some other businesses, including golf courses, have been allowed to reopen.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the number of active COVID-19 cases on Kaua‘i remained at zero, with a total of 21 confirmed cases on the island. Statewide, there are a total of 625 confirmed cases of the virus, with four new positive cases reported from Honolulu on Tuesday. In Hawai‘i, there have been 17 deaths attributed to the virus.

On Kaua‘i, Kawakami said the 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew ends today.

“At some point down the road, if we see another spike in cases, we may need to revisit the nightly curfew to help preserve our first-responder resources,” Kawakami said Tuestay.

“But if we all continue to work together to stay home as much as possible, we’re confident that our nightly curfew is no longer a necessary tool in our fight against COVID-19,” Kawakami said in a Tuesday public address.

Kawakami enacted the strictest emergency rules in the state at the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, and has since allowed several of his emergency rules to expire because Ige made redundant and statewide rules after Kawakami took action.

The curfew never went statewide, but Ige does still have a stay-at-home order in place that restricts movement within Hawai‘i to essential travel only — he said Tuesday that order has been rebranded, however. Now it’s called the “safer-at-home” order.

Officials will look at opening higher-risk businesses, such as hair salons, churches and restaurants, in subsequent phases, Ige said Tuesday.

Both Ige and Kawakami warned that if there’s a surge in cases, some restrictions may have to be reinstated.

“We have seen a recurrence in several places around the world, and we need to make sure that doesn’t happen here in Hawai‘i,” Ige said.

A 14-day quarantine for travelers arriving in Hawai‘i remains in effect as the tourist-dependent state grapples with massive unemployment.

For detailed guidance, see the governor’s website at governor.hawaii.gov/emergency-proclamations.

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• Editor’s note: As of Tuesday afternoon, the seventh supplemental emergency proclamation relating to COVID-19 had not been posted on Ige’s website. Jessica Else, editor-in-chief, can be reached at 245-0457 or jelse@thegardenisland.com.
Source: The Garden Island

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