Some feel the current reopening tier system is irrelevant and call for leaders to revisit rules

Published: May. 11, 2021 at 12:06 AM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - With 40% of Hawaii’s population now fully vaccinated, some say it’s time to rethink the state’s reopening strategy.

More states are speeding up their reopening plans, especially for activities outdoors where the risk of transmission is low.

Governor David Ige has been cautious from the start and with new variants in the mix, he’s not about to risk it.

“The number of cases that we see continues to be higher than we would like, and every case now is the opportunity for the virus to mutate and change,” said Ige.

As vaccinations continue to roll out and become more of a convenience to get with walk-ins, Epidemiologist Dr. DeWolfe Miller agrees with the governor and says the goal should be to absolutely wipe out COVID.

“If you don’t go to that last little extra bit to wipe it out and stamp it out, that little brush fire can blow out of control in a second,” said DeWolfe.

But the big worry of hospitals being overwhelmed isn’t a concern anymore as hospitalizations remain steady.

And since the tier systems were created way before knowing we would have a vaccine this soon, some believe city and state leaders should revisit those rules.

“We still have guidelines, we still got to social distance, so you can’t have maximum capacity in any store,” said Tina Yamaki, president of Retail Merchants of Hawaii. “So, I mean, you still see lines outside, you know, in certain stores, because, you know, they limit the amount of people in there.”

There has already been changes made for weddings and bars, but now there’s a push to let parents watch their kids play soccer.

And a fight to give kids a chance to compete in surf contests again.

“If you’re going to allow other sports to be happening, then it kind of needs to be equal rights across the board for all sports, whether there’s certain rules for this sport or that sport, they should be able to compete,” said Surf Coach, Kahea Hart.

Despite Hawaii’s different tier systems, it’s not slowing down visitor arrivals. As of Sunday, over 19,000 people flew in.

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