Mayor Rick Blangiardi listened to members of the wedding industry during a demonstration outside of Honolulu Hale.
Mayor Blangiardi meets with wedding industry demonstrators
HONOLULU – Mayor Rick Blangiardi met with members of the wedding industry who were demonstrating outside of Honolulu Hale today. Both sides had the opportunity to speak and listen to the points of view.
“My heart goes out to the people in the wedding industry who have been hit by the pandemic and have had their business impacted,” said Mayor Rick Blangiardi. “The feeling is weddings are celebrations and social gatherings where people gather and mingle in close proximity, which can lead to the spread of the virus. However, I am not giving up on the issue and believe there may be a way for the wedding industry to operate in a safe manner. The industry must also know it cannot have rogue events with large numbers of people because that will hurt the chances of moving forward.”
Mayor Blangiardi stated his administration will continue discussions with the State regarding the possibility of easing restrictions on the industry, but added the community needs to do its part in preventing unpermitted social gatherings. People must continue safe practices like wearing a mask, keeping their distance and washing their hands.
The State Department of Health cluster report stated three social gatherings were responsible for 31 positive COVID-19 cases on O‘ahu and a separate cluster in a restaurant contributed to seven positive cases.
“Hearing about the clusters associated with social gatherings is troubling because it shows people are letting their guard down and not taking the situation serious enough,” said Mayor Blangiardi. “Ultimately, the State would have to approve any easing of restrictions or allowing wedding activity, but that is less likely to happen if there are clusters related to gatherings.”
The City and County of Honolulu moved into Tier 3 on Feb. 25, 2021 and then implemented Tier 3 modifications on March 11, which allowed greater flexibility for various businesses. The wedding industry was not part of the modifications because of the social gathering concerns, where large groups of people eat, drink, mingle and dance with those outside of their household and participate in activities that bring people within close proximity to one another for extended periods of time. Newlyweds are currently able to celebrate their important day consistent with the City's Tier 3 framework in gatherings of no more than 10 people.
In addition, the Honolulu Liquor Commission and Honolulu Police Department have temporarily closed five bars on O‘ahu for 24 hours for violating the emergency orders since the Tier 3 modifications began last week. The violations included employees not wearing a facial covering, having inadequate contact tracing records, intermingling of groups who were not engaged in seated table service and serving alcohol after midnight. To report a bar operating in violation of the emergency orders please call 808-768-7363.
The conditions and restrictions regarding the operation of restaurants and bars may be found by clicking here.
The City’s call center at 808-768-CITY (2489) is available 8am to 4:30 p.m. seven days a week, excluding holidays, to answer questions from the public. The email firstname.lastname@example.org is also available to submit inquiries.
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