Big Island Coronavirus Updates

Big Island to Reopen to Most Businesses, Activities by June 1

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The Big Island will soon be back in business — for the most part.

Expanding on his initial announcement to allow businesses and activities like church services, salons and indoor dining at restaurants to reopen, Hawai‘i County Mayor Harry Kim on Thursday greenlit most other sectors business and social life to resume in June.

The mayor’s newest Emergency Rule reopens places of worship on Saturday, May 30, and most businesses June 1, 2020. This means all businesses may open with the following exceptions:

  • Transient accommodations (bed and breakfast, short-term rentals and timeshares) may not open except where workers of essential businesses or operations are renting or staying. Current occupants who have pre-booked at transient accommodations may stay until the end of the pre-booked period. These restrictions are in place until the travel quarantine restrictions are lifted.
  • Bars, nightclubs, arcades and other public gathering venues where social distancing measures are difficult to implement;
  • Contact sports.
  • Events and other gatherings greater than 10 persons until allowed by Governor’s Proclamation.

The Mayor’s COVID-19 Emergency Rule No. 6 declares that the following medium-risk operations are subject to all restrictions and social distancing requirements found within the 8th Supplementary Proclamation, State Department of Health Reopening Safe Practices, and CDC guidelines. These operations must follow applicable CDC, industry and regulatory guidelines related to COVID-19 prior to opening:

Places of worship

  • Faith-Based Worship in accordance with the CDC Interim Guidance for Administrators and Leaders of Community and Faith Based Organizations to Plan, Prepare, and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 or any updated CDC guidance. Effective May 30, 2020. This amends the reopening of houses of worship, which were initially scheduled in the Mayor’s Emergency rule 5 to reopen on June 1, 2020.

The following venues will reopen on June 1, 2020:

Other indoor gathering places

  • Including, but not limited to, billiards halls, bowling alleys, but not arcades or gaming places.

Indoor exercise facilities

  • Includes gyms and fitness centers and indoor pools.
  • Includes facilities that are not “gyms” or “fitness centers” but offer classes or group exercises such as yoga, aerobics, Zumba, dance, Pilates, weight lifting, athletics clubs, and martial arts clubs, but there shall be no physical contact.

Museums and theaters

  • Both movie theaters and performing arts theaters.

Outdoor spaces

  • Includes ocean tours, outside pools and summer camps.

Other personal services

  • Includes tattoo operators and acupuncturists.

Other real estate services

  • Including open houses for general public viewing, real estate agent caravans and broker open houses.
  • Property viewing, inspections, surveys, and appraisals may be conducted by appointment only with social distancing requirements maintained at all times.

Other retail and repair

  • Including the rental of recreational and sports equipment.

When reopening, businesses must follow several rules, including safe practices set forth in Proclamation 8 as may be supplemented and Rule 4:

  • Use of face masks
  • Hand hygiene — hand washing or hand sanitizers made available, especially upon entry
  • Surface cleaning — regular cleaning/disinfection of surfaces and objects touched by the public and employees
  • Physical distancing — internal controls to maintain 6 feet of distancing; limits on the number of persons allowed in the establishment based on the size of the establishment in order to maintain the physical distancing requirements
  • Protection of high-risk populations — separate hours or other accommodations to protect the senior and other vulnerable population
  • Stay home if sick directives
  • Signage informing customers and employees of safe practice requirements

Higher levels of safety precautions specified by Governor’s proclamations, State rules, County proclamations or rules, CDC, OSHA, NIOSH, and/or industry-specific guidance must also be followed.

Individuals at higher risk should continue to minimize time and contacts outside the household.

Rule 6 rule shall continue through June 30, 2020, or until extended, rescinded, superseded, or amended by my subsequent order, or as otherwise provided by law.

Additionally, Mayor Kim is submitting to the Governor an Amendment to his Rule 4, which will reopen certain County park sites and recreational facilities on June 1, with some exceptions. Swimming pools, gymnasiums and community centers will remain closed at this time.

To request no-cost assistance in providing a safe and healthy business for employees and customers, contact the COVID Task Force on Education and Prevention at 808-935-0031.

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