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Oahu eases more restrictions on large events, city gyms as part of ‘cautious’ approach to reopening

Published: Oct. 20, 2021 at 5:41 AM HST|Updated: Oct. 20, 2021 at 6:22 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - More restrictions on large indoor and outdoor events are being relaxed on Oahu starting Wednesday as part of the city’s “cautious” push toward fully reopening as COVID-19 cases trend downward.

Indoor seated entertainment events, such as concerts, are now allowed but need to be at half capacity, with a maximum of 500 vaccinated guests. Only water can be served and mingling outside groups is not allowed. Other guidelines include masking and physical distancing requirements and assigned seating.

Also starting Wednesday, outdoor “interactive” events, like weddings and funerals, can resume with a capacity limit of 150. All attendees must be vaccinated and wear masks. Groups are allowed to interact with each other, and food and beverages are permitted.

[Read the city’s new order allowing professionally-organized events]

This week also brings changes and the loosening of some restrictions at some city parks facilities. Sports and other activities can now happen at city gymnasiums.

Honolulu’s Department of Parks and Recreation began accepting permit applications for use of gymnasiums on Sept. 27. Prior to this change, those facilities were only approved for what the city calls “passive use”: things like meetings, arts and crafts or stationary lessons.

“Active use” activities are now allowed as long as you get the proper permits from the city. Spectators are allowed at these indoor activities, but that all depends on capacity limits at each facility.

Spectators, participants, coaches and any other event staff have to wear face coverings, and the guidelines for the Safe Access Oahu Program remain in effect, meaning proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result is required.

“We are thrilled to continue reopening more of our facilities as pandemic circumstances improve,” said DPR Director Laura H. Thielen.

“This timeline provides a level of transparency and guidance that both the public and park staff can follow so we share the understanding of how park activities will progress and continue to provide respite to our community. We certainly hope we can continue this trend of reopening park facilities in an orderly and safe fashion.”

On Nov. 1, permitted usage of city park meeting, recreation, multipurpose, and martial art rooms will also be back open for physical activities.

The Department of Parks and Recreation is preparing for an influx of permit requests and is asking for patience as organizers begin applying at the online portal.

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