New order will allow small household gatherings on beaches, in parks

New order will allow small household gatherings on beaches, in parks
The new order, which is still being vetted and must be approved by the governor, would go into effect next Thursday. (Source: Audrey McAvoy)

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The city’s stay-at-home order remains in effect for another week, but the mayor is pledging to ease some restrictions on gatherings and businesses with his next proclamation.

Under the new rules, Mayor Kirk Caldwell said, retailers will be able to reopen at 50% capacity and households will be able to have small gatherings at beaches and parks of no more than five people.

Those not in a household will be allowed to go to the beach, a park or on a trail with one other person.

The new order, which is still being vetted and must be approved by the governor, would go into effect next Thursday and replace a mandate that closed nonessential businesses and banned gatherings of any kind.

Caldwell didn’t offer a timeline of how other businesses might be given the OK to reopen.

Gyms and bars remain closed down on Oahu, and restaurants can offer takeout only.

But at a news conference Thursday discussing economic aid to small businesses on Oahu, Caldwell repeated an early pledge to reopen more slowly in hopes of avoiding another COVID-19 wave.

“This reopening will be done differently,” he said. “We’re going to learn from our past mistakes.”

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