DLNR, police work to enforce new beach rules

Coronavirus

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Beaches in the Waimanalo area were emptier than usual on the first full day of Governor David Ige’s emergency rule that closed all beaches under the State’s jurisdiction.

The only exception to this rule is to cross a beach when going in and out of the water for exercise.

On one stretch of sand, two fishermen were casting at the shoreline, more than the social distancing recommendation of at least six feet apart. A short distance away a couple lounged in beach chairs. The fishermen were within the rules set out by the Governor’s Fifth Supplementary Proclamation yesterday, but the beach loungers were not.

DLNR officers were patrolling the beaches around Oahu, informing people about the temporary rules which aims to prevent people from going to state beaches during the pandemic.

DOCARE Supervisor John Silberstein said he was answering a lot of questions, as many people seemed unaware of the new restrictions. Some of his officers, he said, were writing citations.

Through a series of Supplementary Proclamations, Governor Ige has called on everyone to practice social distancing, even when outside; to wear masks when in businesses or around other people; and to abide by various closures.

Violations of the emergency rules can carry fines of up to $5,000 and a year in jail.

At Kaiwi State Scenic Shoreline, a family of five were informed that the park was closed as they were about to cross over the closed gate at the beginning of the popular Makapuu Overlook trail.

They said someone told them it was okay to make the walk, but after they learned it wasn’t, they got back in their car to search for an open, alternate trail.

While the majority of beaches in the state are under the State of Hawaii jurisdiction, some are under individual counties.

In the City and County of Honolulu, previously announced rules mirror those of the State’s. It’s okay to cross the beach to get to the water, but not okay to sit, stand, lie down, lounge, sunbathe, or loiter on beaches and sandbars. It’s currently against the law to walk or run on state beaches.

Beaches under individual county jurisdictions may have different rules.

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