Local Covid-19 Update as of August 27, 2021
Due to a surge of COVID-19 cases across the Big Island (averaging over 100 new cases per day), new restrictions on gatherings were put in place, effective immediately, as of Friday, August 27, 202.
In a press conference, Mayor Roth issued Emergency Rule No. 17, limiting gatherings indoors and out to 10 people total, including on our county's beaches. When outdoors at County (beach) parks, groups are limited to 10 people total, and must be spaced out 20 feet, or risk a fine of $250. (You can read more about this new emergency rule by going to this West Hawaii Today article HERE.)
No other major changes were issued, meaning 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), and are required in restaurants any time when not actively eating or drinking (previously you could remove your masks once seated).
This Emergency Rule is in effect until October 8, 2021, unless extended.
What does this mean for your wedding?
If your wedding is on a public beach, you will be restricted to 10 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. Although they will not be able to stand near you, and may not mingle with the other groupings, anyone over the 10 close to you may attend at a distance of 20 feet, in pods of no more than 10. They may not be able to hear well, but they will still get the beach experience and be able to see you from afar. 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 10 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!