These 6 Types of O‘ahu Businesses Can Reopen on Friday, May 1

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell gives the OK for mobile and one-to-one services as well as golf courses, car dealers and real estate operations to resume.
Honolulu police patrol Kailua Beach on ATVs on Saturday, the first day the city reopened city parks for exercise. Caldwell and police reported few problems with the easing of quarantine restrictions.
Photo: Robbie Dingeman


After Saturday’s reopening of the city’s 300 parks went smoothly, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell today announced the city will ease restrictions of his stay-at-home order to allow six categories of business to reopen late this week as long as Gov. David Ige approves of the move.


He said most people in the community responded well to the chance to exercise outdoors while practicing social distancing with only a smattering of people cited for gathering in groups; police warned and arrested a few of them.


Caldwell praised residents for heeding warnings and slowing the spread of the disease. And he says the city will continue to assess next steps using guidance from the Johns Hopkins Center For Health Security: “We’ll start opening up the least risky types of businesses with modifications.”


Caldwell outlined the businesses that are allowed to reopen this Friday:

  • Mobile service providers that roll up to your home or office, such as a pet groomer that requires little person-to-person interaction.

  • One-to-one services such as private tutoring or musical lessons with just a student and teacher practicing social distancing.

  • Public and private golf courses, as long as those participating abide by detailed rules provided by a golf association requiring social distancing and sanitation practices.

  • Car dealers selling new and used cars can operate by appointment. Test drives would only be allowed if the would-be buyer went alone, rather than with a sales person in the vehicle.

  • Real estate services, including appointment-only open houses that could include up to three people.

  • Automated service providers such as car washes that don’t require interaction between people.


Decisions about hair and nail salons, barber shops, spas, retail shops and resuming the visitor industry will have to wait, he said. Caldwell earlier announced the city’s five botanical gardens will open for exercise on Friday.


In the latest example of different branches of government colliding publicly over quarantine policy decisions, Caldwell says the city is pursuing purchase of more COVID-19 tests that can be deployed through O‘ahu’s community centers after the state’s questioning of the private testing company prompted the city to put the project on pause. Caldwell believes that aggressive testing can locate and combat the spread of the disease to allow phased reopening.


Yesterday, state health officials met with Honolulu managing director Roy Amemiya to voice their concerns about the city’s initial plan. Caldwell says that the state Health Department has been assured of the Texas-based Everywell’s credentials. Amemiya says the state also supports the strategy of reaching out to the community and of increasing testing. 


Caldwell says the city still plans to ramp up testing but is exploring the Health Department’s questions about costs and whether test results would take longer to get back from Mainland-based businesses than from local labs. “We’re not going to back away,” he said. 


Case count: Two new cases of COVID-19 were reported today, bringing the number of confirmed cases statewide to 609. One of the two is a resident of Lāna‘i who was exposed on Maui and remaining there now. Lāna‘i has not reported any other cases. Of all statewide cases, 16 have died, 69 people required hospitalization and 505 were released from isolation, according to the state Health Department. And 28,577 tests have been given, with 2% positive.


Every day, the state updates a map by census tract district, showing the areas where the people with confirmed cases reside. Those areas with 21 to 50 cases show up in red.


Read more stories by Robbie Dingeman