Mask mandate on Oahu goes into effect April 20th

Coronavirus

On Oahu, if you’re heading into an essential business or work in one, you’ll soon be required to wear a mask. That’s the order from the Mayor starting Monday.

Protection efforts against COVID-19 are ramping up. This week, Kauai has made it mandatory for people to wear face coverings while out in public. Now residents on Oahu will have to do the same. It’s not just a recommendation, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell is requiring it.

“We mandate people on Oahu to wear a mask when entering an essential business where there is interaction with the public and the employees in the business,” he said.

For example, if you go grocery shopping you will have to wear a non-medical mask or some type of face covering like a scarf or bandana. Essential workers interacting with the public will be required to wear one. This also applies when using public transportation.

“If you’re working in an office where there is no interaction with the outside, with the public, it’s up to you to wear a mask but it’s not mandated,” said Mayor Caldwell.

There are other exceptions. You don’t have to wear a mask when:
-you’re going to the bank,
-using the ATM,
-have asthma or a respiratory condition,
-or when you’re in your car.

Currently the mandate would apply to all ages but that could change.

“We’re going to talk to our attorneys and see if perhaps we limit the application to the very young, someone who is a baby. Having them put a mask would be hard and hard to keep on a mask,” said Mayor Caldwell.

So what about enforcement?

“Just like the other mandates that we have, part of it is incumbent on the public to comply and for the most part, we see compliance and also on the businesses. So we look to the businesses that interact with customers to make sure they are wearing facial coverings and their customers are too,” said the Mayor.

If you don’t have a mask, can’t make one, or can’t afford it, don’t worry the group called “Every1nehawaii” has got you covered. All you have to do is request one online.

“Please submit your request by 4 p.m. April 17th. That’s this Friday. We ask that the community please be considerate to those in need as there are limited supplies,” said Dr. Anne Wright from Every1nehawaii.

To sign up, please click here.

To learn more about the Mayor’s Stay-at-Home order, please click here.

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