Ige loosens rules on outdoor activities in restaurants, but social distancing is still required indoors

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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – On November 12, the governor will drop all COVID restrictions on outdoor activities at restaurants, bars and gyms.

But the social distancing rules inside will remain in place.

Governor David Ige made the announcement at a press conference on Tuesday, saying outdoor activities remain a safer option. “We believe that outdoor activities are much safer,” he said.

He said his new emergency proclamation would not impact Oahu’s rules for managed events.

Under the new rules, restaurants, bars and gyms will not have to meet any capacity or social distancing requirements for outdoor activities.

But inside, the restrictions depend on the county you’re in.

Only counties with programs that require customers to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test can reach full capacity. Currently, this covers Oahu and Maui County.

Counties without these rules will have to stick to 50% of their capacity.

However, all restaurants, bars and eateries will need to continue to follow social distancing rules.

Business owners have said that maintaining 6 feet of social distancing has effectively reduced their capacity, limiting the number of people they can fit into their establishments.

The governor defended maintaining the social distancing rules, saying they were based on CDC guidelines. He recognizes that social distancing limits the capacity of sites.

“It’s about finding a balance,” Ige said. “We think this is an important part of the mitigation.”

The governor to essentially keep the restrictions in place inside restaurants, bars and gyms is a blow to these companies and comes as Oahu allows large events organized by professionals.

This story will be updated.

Copyright 2021 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.


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