Covid-19 Travel Update as of 10-15-21
As of last Friday, October 15, 2021, the Mayor made an amendment to his Covid-19 Emergency Rule No. 18 (previously made on October 4th, essentially extending the same rules as previously stated), finally expanding gatherings outside back up to 25 people, in line with the rest of the State. Indoor gatherings remain at groupings of 10 people total.
See the article on Big Island Now by going HERE.
Although Hawaii island has had a higher infection rate than the rest of the state for the past several months, we are finally seeing numbers come down.
No other major changes were issued that would affect your travel or wedding, which also means that the current travel restrictions have not been changed (you must submit proof of vaccination or have a negative approved Covid test within 72 hours of the last leg of your flight - see this page for a handy guide to all things travel), and masks are still required indoors and under any solid roof (open air or not). At most restaurants (unless otherwise stated) you may remove your masks once seated at your table.
What does this mean for your wedding?
If your wedding is on a public beach, you will be restricted to 25 people total at your wedding site, including you two, anyone serving your wedding (i.e. your officiant, your photographer, musician, etc.) and guests.
What happens if you'd planned for more people on a public beach?
If you really only wanted a handful of people, this might allow you to be able to cut your guest list without hurting anyone's feelings. If you have guests who were on the bubble or anxious about travel at this time, this allows them to gracefully bow out, and/or volunteer to sit out the ceremony. If everyone already has their tickets and is definitely coming, don't worry! We can get creative. As a last resort, if you have your wedding with me, you may also postpone and reschedule for up to one year from your original wedding date. Please call me to discuss if this is something you are considering so that you can make the most informed decision.
What about if my wedding is at a private venue?
If your wedding is more than 30 days out, the County is still accepting requests for special exemptions to the gathering rule (i.e. if you have more than 25 people, up to 50 total at a private venue) with the submission of a safety plan, assuming your event is being run by an event professional. (If you are DIYing your event, you will not be eligible for this exemption.) Thus, if you are one of my couples and this applies to you, rest assured, I will be applying for one of these for us and will be in touch about it ASAP.
Finally, as always, if you are one of our couples and you have any questions or concerns, please know we are here to help! Just reach out and we can set a time to talk. As more updates come about, I'll keep you posted here!
If we have 25 folks at the papa Kona event center in November and everyone vaccinated in group and we’re upstairs dancing, do we have to have masks on?
Aloha, Sue! You'll need to contact Papa Kona directly about what their current policies are as your wedding gets nearer, but know that the State currently requires mask wearing in all areas under a roof, regardless of vaccination status. This rule hasn't changed here in Hawaii since the pandemic began, but, depending on how things go, it may be loosened by the time your wedding rolls around. For the moment, expect to be masked under any roofed areas, with the exception of when you are seated at your table or actively eating or drinking.
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Owner/Planner/Coordinator and Officiant of Simple Kona Beach Weddings