Mayor Rick Blangiardi was optimistic that by next year, big events in Oahu could happen again by January 1.
He spoke with ESPN about hosting the Hawaii Bowl game and a basketball tournament on the island. â€œWe’ll wait until we are told we can’t do this,â€ Blangiardi said on The Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s Spotlight Hawaii today.
“But for now, I’m telling everyone, especially on the events that after the first of the year you should plan to make it happen.”
He even expected that the University of Hawaii could sell tickets for the next football game scheduled for November 6 in excess of the 1,000 seats that will soon be allowed, and that the Honolulu Marathon would take place in December.
Those announcements are awaiting approval from the state’s health ministry, but Blangiardi said with the number of COVID-19 cases falling and vaccination rates rising, more restrictions could be lifted.
â€œI looked at the CDC models, they look very favorable when it comes to projections,â€ he said.
Last week, Blangiardi announced that as of Wednesday, outdoor seated events could start at 50% capacity or up to 1,000 people. Seated indoor events can resume on October 20 at 50% capacity or up to 500 people. Outdoor interactive events such as weddings can also resume on October 20 at 50% capacity or up to 150 people. All events would require proof of vaccination. Blangiardi also explained that the Safe Access Oahu program which required proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test in the past 48 hours for businesses such as restaurants, cinemas and bars, would not be in place in perpetuity. .
â€œI don’t see this as a permanent move,â€ he said.
â€œWe did it with the cancellation of large social gatherings because it was seen as a source of community spread. We have taken this step with Safe Access Oahu to avoid being closed.
Despite the promising numbers, Blangiardi warned that Oahu would likely have to continue living with COVID-19 because he didn’t believe the pandemic would end for good.
â€œConsidering the fact that around 106,000 eligible people who haven’t been vaccinated, we’re going to be talking about COVID cases for a while, that’s not going to go away,â€ he said.
“It’s not like a bad movie that just ends, it will be here, it will be in our community.”