Hair salons and barbershops on Oahu could open as soon as Friday, followed by offices on June 5 and theaters, museums and gyms on June 19, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said on Tuesday.

The announcement came as Hawaii experienced its third straight day without any new COVID-19 cases. There have been 416 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Honolulu. Most of Oahu’s infected patients have been released from isolation, but 11 people have died.

Caldwell said he will send a letter to Gov. David Ige on Tuesday afternoon outlining his requested course of action. The plan starts with the reopening of “personal services” on Friday with modifications, masks and physical distancing.

“That means guys like me can get a haircut again,” he said.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell has a plan to reopen businesses in phases.

Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Specific guidelines will be publicized once Ige approves the plan, the mayor said.

Outdoor operations like the Honolulu Zoo, Sea Life Park, Kualoa Ranch and other outdoor venues will also be allowed to reopen on Friday. People will be permitted to gather in groups of 10 or less regardless of whether they live in the same household, the mayor said.

Later this week, the mayor said he plans to sign another amended order requesting Ige’s support to reopen offices on Friday, June 5. It would coincide with the planned reopening of restaurants for dine-in services, the mayor said.

“Downtown restaurants need downtown customers, so offices will be opening up, along with offices around the rest of the island,” he said. 

Indoor gatherings of 10 people or less in residences and in non-commercial settings such as Alcoholics Anonymous or other functions will also be allowed on June 5. Social distancing will still be required.

Caldwell also plans to ask Ige to allow indoor operations like theaters, museums and gyms to open up with modifications starting June 19.

“People are going to be very cautious,” Caldwell said. “And it’s incumbent on these businesses to open up assuring that their safety is protected every step of the way.”

Other businesses including bars, nightclubs and large venues, like those that hold sporting events, will be addressed at a later date, the mayor said. The reopening plan for particular “unique” locations like the Koko Head Shooting Complex and Hanauma Bay will also be determined later, he said.

Within the first few weeks of June, Oahu may welcome interisland travelers back to Oahu without requiring a 14-day quarantine, Caldwell said. When that happens, officials will monitor the situation closely to assess the next steps on quarantine requirements for visitors coming from outside of Hawaii.

Also on Tuesday, the City and County of Honolulu reopened driver licensing centers and resumed serving residents on an appointment-only basis. Face coverings or masks are required of visitors, who are directed to stand on stickers on the floor to maintain distance from others.

In response to a Civil Beat/Hawaii News Now poll that found Caldwell is viewed negatively by 47% of Oahu respondents, the mayor said his administration has made difficult decisions that were necessary, however unpopular they may be.

“They’re about putting the public’s health and safety first and foremost in everything we do,” he said. “We’re not focused on polls. We’re focusing on returning our community, our folks to a safer place where we can begin to live life in a way where we protect each other and help each other out economically.”

People with questions about the mayor’s directives are encouraged to visit OneOahu.org to read frequently asked questions. Residents may also call the city’s information hotline at 768-CITY (2489) or email covidresponse@honolulu.gov. The City and County of Honolulu’s COVID-19 information call center is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except on holidays.

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