Hawaii Limits Indoor Social Gatherings to 10 People. Will More States Follow Suit?
Hawaii is bringing back a whole swath of pandemic restrictions on social gatherings and businesses in response to rising COVID-19 cases on the island.
On Tuesday, Hawaii Gov. David Ige, a Democrat, issued an executive order limiting indoor social gatherings to 10 people, and outdoor gatherings to 25 people. Restaurants, bars, and other “social establishments”—in addition to abiding by those gathering limits—must also require patrons to be seated and masked when not actively drinking or eating. Mingling between parties is expressly prohibited.
Indoor capacity at those establishments, as well as gyms and other “high-risk” activities, is limited to 50 percent. (It’s not entirely clear to me whether this half-capacity cap supersedes the indoor gathering limits bars and restaurants are also supposed to comply with.)
“The dining rooms can only hold 50 [percent] capacity, where most restaurants and your financials are all structured around 100 [percent] capacity,” said Hawaii Restaurant Association Executive Director Sheryl Matsuoka to Civil Beat. “You only have 50 [percent] of your income, but then you have to pay 100 [percent] of your bills.”
Restaurants were already required to operate at 75 percent capacity, Matsuoka said.
Ige’s executive order allows for “professional events”—which the Honolulu Star-Advertiser says includes weddings, meetings, banquets, and conventions—have to follow state and county rules regarding their operation, but not the new
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