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Puzzled residents want to know why a 150-seat luau is allowed but weddings are limited to 10

Published: Mar. 8, 2021 at 11:28 AM HST|Updated: Mar. 8, 2021 at 11:29 AM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Confused Oahu residents are looking for clarification on the city’s tiered system of COVID restrictions after news that a luau with 150 guests was allowed to happen on Friday but weddings are still limited to no more than 10 people.

The Hilton’s Starlight Luau is usually held outdoors, but because of the weather, it was moved to one of their ballrooms Friday.

Based on the tier system, the Hilton’s Starlight Luau followed city rules.

The event fell into the category of “designated businesses or operations, restaurants or other commercial attractions.”

But the rules are stirring confusion.

One resident called the situation “frustrating.”

He had to postpone his wedding to June, and he’s now asking for clarity on the guidelines since weddings currently fall into the “social gatherings” category.

“I think for sure weddings are in a definite gray area especially for outdoor venues because it’s a gathering, so what difference is a wedding gathering versus a luau?” he asked.

The city says the tier system guidelines related to health and safety require approval from the state.

Hawaii News Now reached out to the state Department of Health for an explanation on the logic behind this portion of the tier system.

DOH released this statement: “A gathering of 150 people eating indoors is a bad idea.”

Mayor Rick Blangiardi said he plans to meet with DOH for clarification on this matter.

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