HONOLULU (KHON2) — Beaches and parks across Oahu closed for the second time on Saturday.
Under Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s new order, no one is allowed to walk, stand, or lay out on the beach. People can fish below the high-water mark and people can go into the ocean for activities like surfing, swimming, and diving.
The closure is to prevent people from gathering in large groups, which was seen at many beaches across Oahu last weekend.
Even though beaches, parks, and all parking lots were closed, hundreds of people still drove up to places like North Shore on Saturday.
“I think it’s ridiculous there’s so many cars parked up and down Kamehameha Highway, as you can see it’s packed. It looks like any other summer day or when we were opened to tourists,” said North Shore resident Tristan Bates.
“There’s people all over the rocks, there’s people just leisurely hanging out and it seems like there’s people from everywhere,” he continued.
Honolulu police officers were out in full force across the island issuing citations and making sure people were not walking on the sand.
One North Shore resident said she went to Ke Iki beach to jump in, but because the waves were a little big, she said she walked further down the beach to find a safe zone to enter the water.
“And two HPD officers on ATV’s surrounded me and informed me, ‘You’re not to walk on the beach,’ so when I explained to them I was looking for a safe place to jump in, and they said ‘Well do it, jump in now and leave,” explained Kristina Marquez.
The new restrictions are a disappointment for many people.
“It’s really disappointing that the beaches are closed,” said Honolulu resident Courtney Khan. “Especially at the end of summer and when school has just been delayed.”
North Shore businesses hope the new closure won’t have affect business.
“Now that they have closed the beaches we’ll see if it makes a difference because a lot of people go to the beach and they stop here on the way or on the way back, but we today we are pretty busy,” explained Cholo’s owner Nancy Selemi.
HPD said they handed out 220 citations on Saturday to people either at beaches, parks, or who were in large gatherings. HPD said those who received a citation will have to appear in court.
HPD’s hotline will be activated at 10 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 9.