COVID enforcement teams to patrol solo-activities rule over the weekend

Coronavirus

The Honolulu Police Department’s COVID enforcement teams will be working over the weekend, and officials with the state’s Department of Land and Natural Resources said they will also be following the latest county orders to only allow solo-activities.

The State Parks Administrator, Curt Cortell said the main point to remember is to keep a distance from others when doing activities at parks, trails and beaches. The DLNR enforcement officers will also be making rounds over the weekend to remind people to follow county rules.

Cottrell said, “Twenty people sitting at the beach, that we made it really clear that is not allowed, and I think that would be a very big target for citation versus a couple of people who are independent sitting at the beach six feet apart.”  

More than 45,000 citations have been issued by Honolulu police officers since the initial stay at home order took effect in March.

A spokesperson for the Honolulu Mayor’s office said people will not be cited for entering or exiting their cars if it is more than one person, but once they are out on trails or parks they must only engage in solo activities.

Hayden Wills who hiked Koko Head said he feels comfortable going on popular trails but he does not think it is safe to hike in remote areas.

Wills said, “Like over here at Koko Head, you have people going up and down the hill often but kind of worried for other hikes and stuff, especially if they are going to be alone.”

Some of the popular state parks will remain closed. Cottrell said this is to avoid gatherings, it is also costly to keep certain attractions open.

“The type of experience where it is unavoidable that there are gatherings,” Cottrell said. “We’re going to keep those closed like the Pali lookout, Diamond Head state monument and Iolani Palace.”

Cottrell said the DLNR saw fewer incidents on Labor Day weekend than on the Fourth of July, he said he hopes this weekend also results in fewer people breaking the rules.  

Cottrell said, “We have way less law enforcement than the county does, so our law enforcement will be typically looking at hot spots, where we anticipate could be challenged with people maybe not honoring those restrictions, it will be more roving patrols.”  

Overtime for officers is being paid by CARES Act funds and it is up to the officer’s discretion to warn, cite or arrest.

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