Starting Nov. 12: Eased Restrictions Outdoors at High Risk Businesses; Capacity Indoors Dependent Upon County Policy
Governor David Ige signed an executive order today to address statewide limits on outdoor activity at high risk businesses, as well as indoor capacity at restaurants, bars, social establishments, and gyms.
“As a reminder, indoor activities at restaurants, bars, and social establishments must continue to require patrons: remain seated with their party; maintain six feet of distancing between groups; do not mingle; and wear masks at all times, except when actively eating or drinking,” said Gov. Ige.
Effective Nov. 12, two changes will take effect:
- Outdoor activity at restaurants, bars, and social establishments will no longer be subject to these restrictions.
- Regarding capacity for indoor high risk activities such as restaurants, bars, and social establishments, indoor capacity is set at 50%, unless the county implements a policy requiring vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result within 48 hours, in which case, there will be no capacity limits. This does include gyms, as well as bars, restaurants, and social establishments.
The full text of the executive order is available for viewing at the bottom of this post.
“We are following the CDC guidance regarding safe practices in indoor settings, and as part of that guidance, the CDC is recommending for those activities where masks are not being worn, that six feet of distancing continues to be a critical element in maintaining or slowing the spread of COVID-19, and so we continue to follow the CDC guidance in that regard,” said Gov. Ige.
He noted that masking is still required except when actively eating or drinking.
“We are continuing to monitor the virus activity in the state of Hawaiʻi. According to the CDC evaluation, we still see substantial spread of COVID-19 in our community. We are following the CDC guidance in terms of safe practices. And that continues to be indoor activities without mask wearing, continues to recommend maintaining six feet of distance between members of different households,” said Gov. Ige.
Governor David Ige said he is working with Maui Mayor Michael Victorino and is currently reviewing his request to relax restrictions. “I do know that I have the order under review as we speak and we are going to make sure that his order and this new executive order are consistent,” said Gov. Ige.
Maui Public Health Rules to be Revised in Accordance with Ige’s Executive Order
UPDATE: (1:09 p.m. Nov. 3, 2021)
Governor David Ige’s office has asked Mayor Michael Victorino to amend his recent request to revise Maui County’s emergency public health rules to conform with the Governor’s Executive Order #21-08 announced on Tuesday, that will go into effect on Nov. 12, 2021.
Restaurants, bars and gyms with requirements for patrons to provide proof of vaccination and/or a negative COVID test within 48 hours, may operate up to full capacity. This consent is contingent upon social distancing and mask requirements remaining in place.
Limits on private social gatherings will remain at 10 indoors and 25 outdoors. Commercial events with professional management intended for more than 50 participants will require an approved exemption from the Office of the Mayor.
When asked for clarification on outdoor activity, the governor was asked if that means you don’t have to be vaccinated or have a test if you eat outdoors at a restaurant. Gov. Ige responded saying:
“We are looking at dropping restrictions outdoors… as you know, enforcement activity has always been a challenge especially here on Oʻahu because of the population and the number of law enforcement officers. So that is part of the balance in our discussions with the mayors as we look at policy changes,” said Gov. Ige.
How will the Changes Impact those in the 5-11 Age Grouping?
In regards to kids between the ages of 5-11, a CDC advisory committee today issued clinical recommendations for a vaccine for that age group. CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, M.D., M.P.H., endorsed the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ recommendation that children 5-11 years old be vaccinated against COVID-19 with the Pfizer-BioNTech pediatric vaccine. This now expands the CDC’s vaccine recommendations to about 28 million children in the United States in this age group and allows providers to begin vaccinating them as soon as possible.
When asked about how the changes effect this demographic, Gov. Ige said, “We are prepared to roll out a vaccination program for children 5-11. It should be starting shortly. We were able to pre-order vaccines and they have been direct shipped to those sites that would be administering 300 vaccinations or more. We will continue to look at what modifications we need to make for recognizing that students 5-11 now have the opportunity to get vaccinated.
DOH has pre-ordered the full allotment allocated to Hawaiʻi—41,700 doses. This first allocation will cover 35% of Hawaii’s 5-11-year-old population. Doses will then be pre-positioned on each island based on 5-11-year-old population estimates.
Gov. Ige said schools have been expressing interest in signing to host clinics. “We have been working to make sure that any school that wants to host a vaccination clinic, will have the opportunity to do that,” he said.
“Hawaiʻi continues to have one of the lowest incidences and death rates in the nation over the entire pandemic period. And it’s because of this, everyone in the state being willing to do what they can, take the personal responsibility and sacrifices to keep each other safe, that I’m able to announce some additional easing of COVID-19 mitigation measures,” said Gov. Ige in making the announcement today.
“As you all have heard for the last several months, the vaccination is the most widespread and important mitigation measure during this pandemic that each of us can take personal action to implement. It maintains a high degree of safety and protects the health of our community, including those who choose to travel,” he said.
Meantime, the governor announced the State of Hawaiʻi will welcome international travelers under the new federal requirements starting next Monday, Nov. 8, 2021. Details on that announcement are posted here.
EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 21-08
(Statewide Limits for Social Gatherings, Restaurants, Bars,Social Establishments, and Gyms)
WHEREAS, on March 4, 2020, I issued a Proclamation declaring a state of emergency to support ongoing State and county responses to the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19);
WHEREAS, I subsequently issued several proclamations related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including proclamations that, interalia, suspended certain laws to enable State and county responses to COVID-19, implemented a mandatory self-quarantine for all persons entering the State and traveling between counties, mandated safe practices to reduce the spread of COVID-19, and instituted a vaccination and testing policy for all State and county employees;
WHEREAS, the Delta variant, a highly contagious SARS-CoV-2 virus strain, resulted in spiking case numbers around the world and in the United States of America, and continues to cause significant disease transmission in our State;
WHEREAS, the Delta variant changed the course ofthe pandemic in our State, such that COVID-19 continues to endanger the health, safety, and welfare of the people of Hawai’i and requires the immediate and serious attention, effort, and sacrifice of all people in the State to avert unmanageable strains on our healthcare system and other catastrophic impacts to the State;
WHEREAS, despite the success of the State’s mitigation and vaccination efforts, based on recent events surrounding the rise of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and death as a result of the Delta variant, and the strong recommendation from our Department of Health and other experts assisting in the ongoing COVID-19 response, statewide limits for social gatherings, as well as additional provisions for restaurants, bars, and social establishments, remain necessary; and
WHEREAS indoor activity continues to cause significant disease transmission
NOW, THEREFORE, I, David Y. Ige, Governor of Hawai’i, pursuant to my executive authority under article V of the Constitution of the State of Hawai’i, chapter 127A, Hawaii Revised Statutes, and all other applicable authority, do hereby order, effective November 12, 2021 , the following:
I . For statewide implementation and as defined by each county (and in accordance with definitions specified by each county):
a. Social Gatherings. Indoor social gatherings of more than ten persons and outdoor social gatherings of more than twenty-five persons are prohibited.
b. Restaurants, Bars, and Social Establishments. Restaurants, bars, and social establishments will implement the following guidelines for indoor activity only while maintaining the required social gathering sizes set forth above and as may be further specified by the counties:
- Patrons must remain seated with their party.
- Six feet distancing must be maintained betweengroups.
- No mingling.
- Masks must be worn at all times except when actively eating or drinking.
c. Professional Events. Professional events must comply with all state and county orders, rules, and directives regarding operation. Those organizing professional events larger than fifty (50) persons, in order to ensure appropriate safe practices, shall notify and consult with the appropriate county agency reasonably prior to the event.
d. Restrictions on Indoor Capacity. For all high-risk activities, indoor capacity is set at 50%, unless the county implements a policy requiring vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result obtained within 48 hours, in which case, there is no capacity limit. This includes gyms, as well as bars, restaurants, and social establishments, which also are subject to Section 1 .b. above.
2. Statewide limitations set forth herein will not otherwise affect the counties’ COVID-1 9 policies regarding other categories of activity.
3. All measures set forth herein will be enforced by the counties pursuant to county orders, rules, and directives that identify offenses and penalties for each county.
4. This order supersedes less restrictive orders, rules, or directives of any of the counties to the limited extent necessary to carry out the limitations and restrictions contained herein.
5. Notwithstanding the provisions set forth herein, the mayor of any county may issue orders, rules, or directives that are more restrictive.
6. This Emergency Order shall become effective on November 12, 2021, and shall supersede Exhibit F of the Delta Emergency Proclamation, signed on October 1, 2021, and which otherwise continues to remain in effect until November 30, 2021.
APPROVED AS TO FORM:
Clare E. Connors Attorney General
State of Hawai’i
Done at the State Capitol, Honolulu, State of Hawai’i, this 2nd day of November, 2021.