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Film and TV Production approved to restart on O‘ahu on June 5

HONOLULU -- Mayor Kirk Caldwell today announced that the film and television industry will be able to reopen for production and on-location filming starting Friday, June 5. Governor David Ige approved the request by the City and County of Honolulu as part of Honolulu's Amended Emergency Order 2020-15.

"Honolulu has been the premier tropical location for filming since the early 1900's, and we have missed their presence around the island, and strong contribution to a diversified economy," said Mayor Caldwell. "I want to thank the many industry members and representatives, including the State and Neighbor Island County film offices, who helped the Honolulu Film Office put together such comprehensive guidelines. In addition to production requirements in general, it includes a modified quarantine process for out of state productions which have historically put Hawai‘i on the map as a safe yet exotic film location. The guidelines are the key to reopening this important part of our local economy and creative community."

Guidelines. The reopening of production requires following health and safety guidelines taken from a deep dive into guidelines and best practices from around the world of the motion picture, television, and commercial production industries. The guidelines are a framework for set safety procedures, physical distancing, symptoms awareness, protective measures, and considerations for security, catering, and other standard departments on a typical set, and are designed to be complimentary to working protocols that unions and guilds are establishing.

Permitting requirements. The restart of the film and television industry under this amendment applies to production doing business on the island of O‘ahu. Productions will still be required to get the usual permits for city jurisdictions from the Honolulu Film Office, state permits from the Hawaii Film Office as they are allowed to issue, and the standard agreements usually obtained for filming on private property. Permitting services through the Honolulu Film Office will be in effect starting June 5. While a city permit is not required for private locations, we are requiring that productions register any activity with the Honolulu Film Office in case location information is ever needed for the purposes of a COVID-19 outbreak and immediate contact tracing.

Modified Quarantine. For out-of-state productions seeking to film on O‘ahu, a modified quarantine process will be in place for use by the film and television industry until the 14-day quarantine requirement for out of state visitors and returning residents is lifted. The process includes testing of travelers prior to boarding a flight to Honolulu, testing several days after arrival, and creating a ‘quarantine bubble' of limited travel on island only between the hotel/residence and reporting to a place of work. If no testing is completed, the 14 day quarantine applies.

Those seeking to restart their production activity on O‘ahu are encouraged to read and follow the guidelines to the fullest extent practicable. To view the guidelines, head here:

If there are any questions regarding film and television production on O‘ahu, please contact the Honolulu Film Office at 808-768-6100 or by email at

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