Updates and guidance on Hawaiʻi Island's phased reopening of our economy.
Residents, workers and business owners have sacrificed tremendously since late March when the COVID-19 outbreak required all but essential businesses to close and everyone was asked to stay at home except to carry out essential business. The great news is that as of early May the number of COVID-19 cases has dropped off and that is attributed to everyone's adherence to policies limiting social distancing and gatherings, practicing good hygiene and wearing face masks, staying home when sick, and staying physically and emotionally healthy. The virus is still in our community; hence, we need to continue practicing preventive measures to avoid spreading the virus while we gradually reopen our economy. Below are COVID-19 mitigation measures and best practices that will help your business to successfully reopen, while maintaining the health of your employees, customers and our community.
We are all in this together, and together we can overcome this virus.
May 28, 2020: Mayor's Emergency Rule No. 6
Emergency Rule No. 6 complements the Governor's Supplementary Proclamation 8 and adds to the Mayor's Emergency Rule No. 5 opening medium-risk businesses and operations. Emergency Rule No. 6 allows the reopening of the following medium-risk businesses:
May 20, 2020 - Places of Worship
June 1, 2020 - All businesses may open with the following exceptions:
- Bed and breakfast, short-term rentals and time-shares may not open except where workers of essential businesses or operations are renting or staying. Current occupants who have pre-booked at transient accommodations may stay until the end of the pre-booked period. These restrictions are in place until the travel quarantine restrictions are lifted.
- Bars, nightclubs, arcades and other public gathering venues where social distancing measures are difficult to implement.
- Contact sports.
- Events and other gatherings greater than 10 persons.
Previous Rules and Proclamations
May 23, 2020: Mayor's Emergency Rule No. 5
Emergency Rule No. 5 reopens places of worship; personal services such as hair salons, one-on-one services (e.g, tutoring, music lessons, massage, yoga, Pilates, personal training), and restaurants effective June 1, 2020. These specific medium-risk businesses are subject to all restrictions and social distancing requirements found within the 8th Supplementary Proclamation, State Department of Health Reopening Safe Practices, and CDC guidelines.
May 18, 2020: Governor's Eighth Supplementary Proclamation - Act with Care Order
On May 18, 2020, the Governor's Office released the Eighth Supplementary Proclamation Related to the COVID-19 Emergency. The proclamation extends the 14-day quarantine for travelers through June 20. The proclamation introduces the "Act with Care Order" which begins a gradual reopening of medium-risk businesses and operations beginning in June. Examples include indoor gathering places, indoor exercise facilities, museums, theaters, personal services, and restaurants for dining in. The proclamation also introduced the State Roadmap to Recovery and Resilience, and rules relating to safety guidelines for barbers and beauty operators.
See full roadmap presentation: Beyond Recovery: Reopening Hawaiʻi - A strategy to reopen and reshape Hawaiʻi's economy
May 5, 2020: Governor's Seventh Supplementary Proclamation and Mayor's Emergency Rule No. 4. - Designated Businesses
On May 5, 2020, the Governor’s office released the Seventh Supplementary Proclamation Related to the COVID-19 Emergency and Mayor Kim issued Mayor’s COVID-19 Emergency Rule No. 4.
These proclamations describe the designated businesses that may open on May 7, 2020 and remain open for the duration of the emergency period. The proclamations also specify COVID-19 mitigation measures that businesses must establish.
Designated Businesses identified in the Governor’s Seventh Supplementary Proclamation Include:
- Agriculture (non-food), such as landscape, ornamental plant growers, and nurseries.
- Auto Dealerships. New and Used.
- Car Washes.
- Observatories and Support Facilities.
- Pet Grooming Services
- Retail and Repair Services.
- Shopping Malls.
Additional Designated Businesses identified in the Mayor’s Emergency Rule Number 4 include:
- Real Estate Services.
- Florist, nursery, plant sales.
- Other Retail sales:
- Bicycle shop sales and repair,
- Jewelry shop sales and repair,
- Pet grooming and boarding,
- Shops that sell walking/running shoes, apparel, and exercise equipment,
- Surf and swimming equipment shop sales and repair.
- Automated Service Providers such as automated car washes.
- Private Golf Courses.
Permitted Essential Businesses and Services
During the COVID-19 outbreak, certain businesses were designated as essential businesses and have been able to remain open under specific guidelines. See Essential Businesses and Services section below for a list of the types of businesses considered essential.
- Healthcare services and facilities.
- Stores that sell groceries and medicine.
- Food, beverage, and cannabis manufacturing and production, and agriculture
- Educational institutions
- Charitable and social service providers
- Gas stations and businesses needed for transportation
- Financial institutions
- Hardware and supply stores
- Critical trades
- Mail, post, shipping, logistics, delivery, and pick-up services
- Laundry services
- Restaurants for consumption off-premises.
- Stores that sell, manufacture, or supply products needed for people to work from home.
- Supplies for essential businesses and operations
- Home-based care and services
- Residential facilities and shelters
- Professional services
- Child care services licensed or authorized under the law
- Manufacture, distribution, and supply chain for critical products and industries.
- Critical labor union functions
- Hotels and motels
- Funeral services
- Government functions
Federal Reopening Plans
- Opening Up America Again
- CDC Activities and Initiatives Supporting the COVID-19 Response and the President’s Plan for Opening America Up Again
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Guidance
- Guidance for Businesses and Workplaces
- General Business Frequently Asked Questions
- Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers Responding to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), May 2020
- Cleaning and Disinfecting Decision Tool
- Resuming Business Toolkit
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Guidance
County of Hawaiʻi Resources for Business
County of Hawaiʻi Free Education and Training
The County of Hawaiʻi provides businesses with free education and training in correct disinfection, hand washing and social-distancing practices in the workplace and stores. Contact the county COVID Task Force on Education and Prevention at 935-0031 to schedule an appointment.
As set forth in the Governor's Seventh Supplementary Proclamation and the Mayor's Emergency Rule no. 4, all businesses and operations must comply with Social Distancing Requirements:
Persons who are Sick
- Persons who are sick or have a fever or cough or are exhibiting symptoms such as shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, or new loss of taste or smell, are urged to stay home, except as necessary to seek medical care.
- Employees who develop symptoms of COVID-19 while at work should be dismissed as soon as possible to self-isolate at home or seek medical attention as appropriate.
- Anyone visible displaying symptoms of COVID-19 should not be allowed in the business or operation.
- Essential and designated businesses or operations shall designate with signage, tape, or by other means six-foot spacing for employees and customers in line to maintain appropriate distance.
- Essential and designated businesses shall monitor and enforce the six-foot distancing requirement whether outside waiting lines or as customers move about inside a facility.
- Checkout operations shall be modified to provide this separation or to provide a transparent shield or barrier between customers and checkout clerks.
Limited Customer Occupancy
- Each business shall determine the maximum number of customers that may be accommodated while maintaining the specified separation distance and limiting the number of customers in the facility to that maximum number at any time
- All customers shall wear a face covering as described and recommended by the CDC, while waiting to enter and while at a business.
- All employees who have any contact with customers or goods to be purchased shall wear the cloth face covering while at their place of employment.
Hand Sanitizer and Sanitizing Products
- Businesses shall make hand sanitizer and sanitizing products readily available for employees and customers.
- Employees handling items from customers, such as cash or credit cards, shall frequently use hand sanitizers.
- Employees should be trained on the importance of frequent hand washing with soap and water, the use of hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol content, and the importance of avoiding touching hands to face.
- Businesses shall regularly disinfect all high-touch surfaces.
Safeguards for High Risk Populations
- Businesses should implement processes to safeguard elderly and high-risk customers.
Online and Remote Access.
- Businesses shall post online whether a facility is open and how best to reach the facility and continue services by phone or remotely. Businesses shall encourage their customers to do their business by phone or online to the extent possible.
Pickup at Store or Delivery
- Businesses shall provide for, if feasible, online ordering and purchase of goods and customer pickup of orders at a location outside the facility or shall provide for delivery to customers.
- To the extent possible, customers are to wait in their cars for employees to bring out merchandise from the business or operation.
- Businesses shall post a sign at the entrance of the facility informing all employees and customers that they should: wear CDC recommended face coverings; avoid entering if they do not feel well; maintain a six-foot distance from one another; and not shake hands or engage in unnecessary physical contact.
- Signs should be posted throughout the area reminding visitors and employees of physical distancing and to wash their hands.
Reopening Guidance from the CDC
Reopening Guidance from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce
- Auto dealerships can conduct business in person by appointment only and buyer groups must maintain physical distancing of six feet or greater between customers and employees while visiting the facility.
- Capacity limits should be enforced in showrooms depending on the size of the showroom.
- Auto dealerships are encouraged to have hand sanitizer and easily accessible hand washing stations on site for employees and customers.
- Test drives should be fewer than ten minutes and cars should be disinfected before and after each employee or customer use. During test drives, both employees and customers should wear face coverings.
- Customers should always remain inside their vehicles .
- Car washes should limit the number of employees in the facility at one time to allow for safe physical distancing practices.
- Businesses should close vacuum areas to prevent employee and customer contact.
- Drying towels should be washed before being shared between employees and should not be made available to customers.
Centers for Disease Control
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
Laborers' Health & Safety Fund of North America
- COVID-19 Fact Sheet
- Conducting Workplace COVID-19 Screenings and Assessments
- Guidance to Assist Employers with COVID-19 Contact Tracing
- COVID-19 Workplace Safety & Health Program Policy Template
- COVID-19 Return to Work Guidance for Office Settings
- Recommended COVID-19 Response Plan for Construction Employers
- Sample Social Distancing Protocol for Construction Jobsites
- COVID-19 Toolbox Talk (safety procedures)
- Handwashing During COVID-19 Toolbox Talk
- COVID-19 Information and Tips for High-Risk Groups
- Behavioral Health Resources for COVID-19
- Hand Sanitizing Stations: Materials and Directions for Construction
Florist, Nursery, Plant Sales
- Sales should be conducted remotely, electronically or by appointment.
- Delivery services or pick up service outside of the business may be conducted as long as social distancing requirements are maintained.
Observatories and Support Facilities
- Encourage visitors, when on-site, to avoid touching any surfaces.
- Cancel or postpone all gatherings of more than ten people (including classes or meetings).
- If using shared equipment (e.g., telescopes, computers), clean and disinfect equipment after each visitor or employee use.
- Offices should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, and employees should maximize physical distancing while in the office (e.g., through capacity limits or reconfigured desks).
Mayor's COVID-19 Emergency Rule No. 6 of May 28, 2020, allows June 1 reopening of:
- Tattoo operators; and
Mayor's COVID-19 Emergency Rule No. 5 of May 23, 2020, reopening guidance for salons and barber shops:
Salons and Barber Shops
Child Care Facilities
In accordance with Governor Ige’s Eighth Supplementary Emergency Proclamation authorizing child care facilities to remain open or reopen and pursuant to Hawaii Administrative Rules (HAR) §§17-891.1-6, 17-892.1-6, 17-896-6, and 17-895-6, DHS requires that all licensed and registered child care facilities and homes establish and follow written policies in line with the published “Guidelines for Child Care Facilities (click here)” (hereinafter “Guidelines”) for reducing exposure to the COVID-19 virus.
Additional Personal Services Guidance
The American Industrial Hygiene Association produces guidance for a wide range of businesses:
- Reopening Guidance for At-Home Service Providers
- Reopening Guidance for Gyms and Workout Facilities
- Reopening Guidance for Hair and Nail Salons
- Returning to Work: Rideshare, Taxi, Limo, and other Passenger Drivers-for-Hir
Pet Grooming and Boarding Services
- Customers can visit by appointment only and should wait outside the facility (e.g., in cars) until employees are ready to work with them and while services are being rendered.
- Wherever possible, disposable equipment should be used. If not possible, wash and disinfect equipment (including entire workstation area, surfaces, etc.) between each customer use.
- Employees should wash hands before and after every customer appointment, wear disposable gloves and change gloves frequently.
From the Mayor's COVID-19 Emergency Rule No. 5, May 23, 2020:
Faith Based Worship is allowed effective June 1, 2020 in accordance with the CDC Interim Guidance for Administrators and Leaders of Community and Faith Based Organizations to Plan, Prepare, and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 or any updated CDC guidance.
Additional Reopening Guidance
- CDC Checklist for Community and Faith Leaders
- COVID-19: Recommended Preventative Practices and FAQs for Faith-based and Community Leaders, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Center for Faith and Opportunity Initiatives.
- American Industrial Hygiene Association Reopening Guidance for Worship Services and Religious Gatherings
Nonprofit Organization Guidance:
Private Golf Courses
- Only one person will be allowed in a golf cart unless the second person is a spouse or family members living in the same residence.
- There will be no flags at the holes, no rakes in sand traps, and there will be no refreshments sold or provided on golf courses.
- All golf courses are encouraged to follow the United States Golf Association and Professional Golfers Association guidance for operation during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Outdoor Commercial Activities
Ocean Tours may operate, but as noted in the Governor's Eighth Supplementary Proclamation, no more than two persons are allowed in any boat on Hawaii's waters for recreational purposes
The Mayor's Emergency Rule No. 5, May 23, 2020, reopens the following types of restaurants effective June 1:
- In-dining service in accordance with CDC Interim Guidance for Restaurants and Bars, National Restaurant Association Guidelines, and any updated CDC guidance.
- Food Courts, but not dedicated bars and nightclubs.
County of Hawaiʻi Guidance
Hawaii Department of Health Guidelines and Rules for Reopening Food Operations
The Department of Health encourages food operators to promote good hygiene practices by ensuring adequate supplies of soap, individual disposable towels, and hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol for employees and customers. Any employee who exhibits signs of illness should not be allowed to report to work.”
At a minimum, customers are required to wear a cloth face covering when moving through a food establishment or while waiting for a pick-up order, and their masks may be removed only while eating.
In addition, the Department of Health issued the following additional stipulations for dine-in service:
- No more than 50 percent or half of the total seating capacity should be available for dining-in use.
- Dining tables at least six feet apart for indoors and outdoors. (Outdoor seating does not count toward the total seating capacity.)
- Restaurants are encouraged to require reservations for dine-in service for greater control of customer volume.
- Consider allowing customers to pre-order while making reservations to decrease the length of time they are in the establishment.
- Maximum of six customers, not living in the same household, per group per table, with a maximum of 10 customers, living in the same household, per group per table.
- No self-service salad bar or buffet.
- Restaurants should also post signage at the entrance that states that no one with a fever or symptoms of COVID-19 will be permitted in the restaurant.
The Department of Health also issued guidance for retail food markets, limiting the number of people in a facility up to 50 percent of fire code occupancy and maintaining a minimum of six feet between individuals. In the next phase, the recommended number of people in a retail food market increases to up to 75 percent of fire code occupancy, while continuing to maintain a minimum of six feet between individuals.
Restaurants offering dine-in service, retail food markets, and food processors and manufacturers are urged to identify a workplace coordinator to be responsible for COVID-19 assessment and control planning, which includes the use of face masks by employees, screening of workers, frequent handwashing, cleaning and disinfection procedures, and display of clear signage to remind employees and customers to adhere to all safety policies in place.
Guidance for restaurant owners preparing to reopen:
- CDC Restaurants and Bars Reopening Decision Tree
- CDC Considerations for Restaurants and Bars
- Association of Food and Drug Officials, Planning for Reopening Food Service Establishments as COVID-19 Impacts Best Practices and Protocol
- U.S. Food & Drug Administration Use of Respirators, Facemasks, and Cloth Face Coverings in the Food and Agriculture Sector During Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Pandemic
- U.S. Food & Drug Administration FDA Food Code
- National Restaurant Association COVID-19 Reopening Guidance
- Hawaii Department of Health Guidance for Reopening Food Services Sector
- From Toast, Restaurant Reopening Checklist
- American Industrial Hygiene Association Reopening Guidance for the Restaurant Industry
Bars and Nightclub
Bars and Nightclubs may not reopen.
Guidance for bar owners' reopening planning:
The Governor's Seventh Supplementary Proclamation and the Mayor's Emergency Rule No. 4 set forth rules for the reopening of shopping malls
- Limited to retail and repair services.
- The following shall remain closed:
- Food-court dining areas (except for delivery or take-out)
- Play areas
- Entertainment areas
- Common areas (except to access and depart from a retail business)
- Arcades and game rooms.
- Specific guidance for food courts:
- Food courts should be limited to delivery or take-out only.
- While waiting in line at food establishments, customers should practice physical distancing with floor markings instructing them where to stand.
- Food court areas should be closed off from the rest of the mall (e.g., with rope) and have one designated entrance if possible.
- Designated staff should be at the entrance at all times enforcing capacity limits and ensuring customers have enough personal space to allow for physical distancing.
- Eliminate use of trays or disinfect between customers.
- Specific guidance for outdoor malls:
- Businesses should practice all guidance above, limit physical distance between employees and customers, and implement floor markings instructing customers to follow one-way pathways to allow for physical distancing while walking.
- If possible, capacity limits should be exercised in outdoor malls by closing off most entry points (e.g., with rope and signs) and having designated employees at one designated entrance enforcing capacity.
Reopening Plan Guidance
- Hotels and motels may reopen.
- Bed and Breakfast, short-term rentals and time-shares may not open except where workers of essential businesses or operations are renting or staying. Current occupants who have pre-booked at transient accommodations may stay until the end of the pre-booked period. These restrictions are in place until the travel quarantine restrictions are lifted.
All persons arriving in Hawaiʻi must follow the Order for Self-Quarantine issued on March 21, 2020, which mandates a 14-day self-quarantine.
- American Hotel and Lodging Association Safe Stay - Enhanced Industry-Wide Hotel Cleaning Standards in response to COVID-19
- ECOLAB Hospitality Resource Library
- Hawaii Lodging & Tourism Association COVID-19 Best Suggested Practices
Real Estate Services
The Mayor's COVID-19 Emergency Rule No. 6 allows the following real estate services to resume on June 1, 2020:
- Open houses for general public viewing
- Real estate agent caravans
- Broker open houses
- Property viewing, inspections, surveys, and appraisals may be conducted by appointment only with social distancing requirements maintained at all times.