With greater than half of Hawaii vaccinated, Blangiardi is attempting to ease restrictions

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – With 51% of Hawaii’s residents now fully vaccinated, Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi has asked the governor to ease COVID restrictions on Oahu.

Blangiardi won’t give any details on what the rewritten rules will be, but he hopes to have approval by Tuesday.

“What I’m not going to do today is negotiate with the governor through the media, but with the Department of Health and we’ll see them review our recommendations. Our recommendations are pretty aggressive, ”said Blangiardi.

Meanwhile, Maui Mayor Mike Victorino learned on Friday that the governor had denied his request to relax capacity restrictions on restaurants, hotels and bars.

[Related coverage: Governor denies Maui mayor’s request to boost capacity limits at restaurants, hotels]

Prior to the rejection, Victorino said he likes the county’s control over gatherings and business premises, but agrees that inter-island flight restrictions should be on the same side.

“We all work in the same field,” he said at Insights on PBS Hawaii.

“The percentages for islands may be a little different, but I agree that when we travel we need to have a consistent number so that not only our residents but also our visitors know exactly what they are up to.”

Blangiardi added, “Each of the mayors during the pandemic were determined to run their own county.”

Hawaii Mayor Mitch Roth wants to increase the number of indoor gatherings from 10 to 25 people when 75% of attendees have been vaccinated.

“This is the idea of ​​not punishing people who are not, but rather rewarding people who are vaccinated,” Roth said of Insights.

Kauai switched to its version of Tier 4, which allows for meetings of 25 people outdoors and 10 people indoors.

Mayor Derek Kawakami wanted to lift all restrictions as 70% of the county had at least one shot, but state officials convinced him to wait until 70% were fully vaccinated due to variants.

“Those vaccine proportions in Tier 5 and Tier 6 are a clearer tangible measure for our business community and our entire community to find at least a way forward,” said Kawakami.

To increase vaccinations, both Maui and Big Island mayors attend “Vax Concerts,” where vaccinated people can get free tickets to a concert.

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