COVID-19 rules confuse some as Oahu heads for full reopening – .

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COVID-19 rules confuse some as Oahu heads for full reopening – .


As Oahu begins to prepare for the resumption of major events following Mayor Rick Blangiardi’s announcement to ease COVID-19 restrictions, food and drink will be banned at events like football games , although theaters continue with soda and popcorn concessions.
According to the new rules, from November 3 there can be full capacity at large seated events both outside and inside where everyone present must be vaccinated – but only water can be served.

Large indoor interactive events, such as concerts, can be organized at 50% of the room’s capacity (or 150 people vaccinated maximum), food and drinks allowed.

Functions classified as interactive outdoor events, such as weddings, luaus, and funerals, can have a maximum of 500 people and a full vaccination is required – food and drink allowed.

Movie theaters, in the mayor’s proclamation, are classified as “covered rooms” with bars and restaurants, and limited to 50% of their capacity and parties of up to 10 people. Theaters, like restaurants, fall under Safe Access Oahu and customers are required to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within the past 48 hours. The City plans to extend these terms until the end of the year.

Understanding COVID-19 rules and restrictions, including the latest food and drink guidelines, can be intimidating.

Depending on the city, it’s all about capacity.

The reasoning behind the food and drink ban at large seated outdoor and indoor events is the large capacity allowed in these venues compared to interactive event venues, the spokesperson for the city, Tim Sakahara.

“A venue… they would be like stadiums, could operate at full capacity without the requirements of physical distancing, but to be safe, at this point at least, food and drink was limited to water only,” he said. he declared. .

“While interactive events like weddings, or funerals per se, are capped… and these also take place in smaller venues that can’t accommodate the 9,000 people or what have you. “

The trade-off is the number of people allowed in the place to serve food or drink.

And the capacity rules for large events will change again on November 24.

During interactive indoor events, the limit will be increased to a maximum of 300 people vaccinated. Outdoor interactive events will be allowed to operate at full capacity. The city will allow food and drink to be served at interactive indoor and outdoor events.

Sakahara explained that the reasoning holds true when outdoor interactive events reach full capacity on November 24, as outdoor venues that host interactive events will always be smaller than outdoor venues that host sit-down events.

“I don’t think anyone is planning a wedding for the TC Ching grounds, looking to fill the stands there for their nuptials,” he said.

“It’s just a different type of place. “

Sakahara stressed that full capacity does not mean unlimited number of people, and companies will need to adhere to their COVID-19 mitigation plans and site capacity limits.

Venues also need to decide what type of events they want to host while the restrictions are in place. For example, a place should not serve as an outdoor sitting place one weekend, and the following weekend become an interactive outdoor place.

“The company should stick to its decision, at least until the end of this year, for the next two months,” Sakahara said.

“None of this is meant to be permanent. We’re not going to live… like this forever.

There is no deadline for the sale of the concessions at an outdoor sit-down event yet, but the city intends to allow it when it is safe.

Under Safe Access Oahu, proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within the past 48 hours is required from customers. The City plans to extend these terms until the end of the year.

However, major events that will resume on November 3 are not part of the Safe Access Oahu program and customers will need to be vaccinated. The option for a negative COVID-19 test instead will not be available.

Blangiardi explained in his announcement on Wednesday that it is to make people feel as safe as possible.

“I don’t know how we can tell people that they are safe. The test just means that you are not sick yet, ”he said.

“We want to be able to get comfortable in it and do it that way. “

The city is still waiting to hear from Governor David Ige whether bars, restaurants and gymnasiums will be allowed to increase their capacity beyond 50%. However, Blangiardi has extended the opening hours of establishments until their permits and licenses allow from November 3.

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