LIHU‘E — Effective Friday, high-risk businesses — including bars, restaurants and gyms — can institute their own COVID-19 vaccination or testing policy for entry to reopen to 100% indoor capacity, according to a new county policy.
For businesses that decide to not adopt their own program, they will be limited to 50% capacity indoors.
While the policy states that negative COVID-19 test results must be obtained within 48 hours to entry, no consultation or approval from the county is required. The county does encourage businesses to follow state and national guidelines in developing these policies.
Earlier this month, Gov. David Ige announced that bars, restaurants and gyms would be allowed to operate at 100% capacity in counties that had vaccination requirements for entry or showed a negative COVID-19 test from the past 48 hours, which, at the time, was only on O‘ahu and Maui.
Mayor Derek Kawakami said that businesses have already proven they know how to operate safely and that another state or county policy to operate above 50% capacity was not the direction he wanted to go.
“As a friendly reminder, all individuals and businesses in the State of Hawai‘i remain subject to the Governor’s statewide order relating to COVID-19,” a county spokesperson said in an email.
The statewide order also allows outdoor restaurants and bars to sit patrons closer than 6 feet or require masks outdoors. Indoor masking and social distancing requirements will continue.
Source: The Garden Island