The governor said the state does expect a slight uptick in cases once more businesses open. To limit that, he said people should still maintain distance from others and stay home if they feel sick.
The new rules come just days after parks were reopened for exercise, along with public and private golf courses. Ige said the county mayors reviewed the list of businesses reopening in the first phase and gave their approval.
“We do have consensus moving forward at this point,” Ige said. “The mayors are also looking at specific nuances for their counties.”
In April, Maui Mayor Mike Victorino restricted the number of people in a single group who could enter grocery stores. On Oahu, there have been similar restrictions at certain stores, where residents are also required to wear face masks.
Now, mayors need to get Ige’s approval before issuing new orders. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell objected but later said he would comply.
At a press conference Tuesday, Caldwell said he asked the state for a target date of May 15 to reopen businesses. The additional time could allow business owners to implement changes to protect themselves and their customers, he said.
When Oahu’s shopping malls reopen, food courts will remain closed except for takeout, the mayor said. Play and entertainment areas such as arcades will also stay closed. Common areas will only be used for coming and going to businesses, not for lingering, he said. Bars in malls will remain closed.
Ige said his administration is asking shopping malls to find ways to limit the number of customers, similar to what grocery stores have done.
He said the state is still considering what businesses can open up in the next phase. Those businesses are likely to be considered higher risk or require greater social distancing or changes to operations.
A presentation by Caldwell in April indicated those businesses could include hair salons, dance studios and gyms. On Tuesday, he said if all goes well, the next group of businesses to reopen would be restaurants.
“We are working with the industry on what the conditions would be to lift the mandatory quarantine,” Ige said. “We know there needs to be a way for us to track visitors and be healthy.”
Contradicting the state’s view, Caldwell said more contact tracing is “critical” for restarting business operations. He said he asked the state for 300 contact tracers for Oahu, some of whom could be National Guard members.
“Without that, it’s very difficult to open up and know that you’re going to be OK as you go forward,” he said.
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Blaze Lovell is a reporter for Civil Beat and a graduate of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He was born and raised on Oahu. You can reach him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter at @blaze_lovell