Mayor Derek S.K Kawakami has implemented, via emergency rule, an islandwide nighttime curfew beginning Friday, March 20. The curfew will be in effect from 9 p.m. through 5 a.m. daily until further notice. Every individual within the County of Kaua‘i must remain in their residence during these specified hours.
“This decision was made with three goals in mind – one, protecting and preserving our existing resources, two, managing the spread of COVID-19 by increasing social distancing, and three, ensuring that essential services, operations, and family care can continue,” said Mayor Kawakami. “After taking an assessment of what will likely be a very long journey for all of us and the amount of limited resources that we have, specifically public safety, first responder, and healthcare workers, we must take bold steps to ensure that our public safety officials, first responders, and healthcare workers have the necessary environment in which to keep us all safe.”
Mayor’s Emergency Rule #2 sets forth exceptions to the curfew, including:
- Commuting to and from work;
- Working for an essential service provider whose shifts are within the curfew window;
- Delivery services associated with food service establishments or stores that sell food and household supplies; and
- Seeking medical attention.
Our houseless community is asked to shelter in place and avoid movement during these curfew hours.
Mayor Kawakami also stated that airline travel to and from the island of Kaua‘i be limited to essential needs only. “Until further notice, visitors should not be traveling to our island for recreational purposes,” emphasized the Mayor. “Kaua‘i is on vacation!”
Further, vacation industry partners are urged to work with their marketing teams to refrain from marketing Kaua‘i as a place to visit during this time in order to protect the health and safety of the community.
“We understand that these measures will result in hardships for many of our business owners and residents,” added Mayor Kawakami. “But the longer it takes us to make these drastic decisions, the longer it will take us to get to a point of economic recovery.
On Hawaii Island, the county says restaurants, bars, and places of worship may make their own decisions to stay open or close. If these places remain open, they need to address how they will clean, disinfect and sanitize, and practice social distancing.
“What I’m saying is the Governor was saying I’m not challenging any of what we are going to do but we have to have discussion and time to plan,” said Mayor Kim, “not for our sake but for the people that it affects.”
We asked Mayor Kim if Hawaii County could see curfews put in place?
“In regards to what actions we will and will not take at this time we’ve taken the specific action but I’ll show you the difference this is Hawaii Island. We have 200-thousand that is spread over an island of twice and more the size of all other islands combined and just that alone tells you to look at things a little differently,” Mayor Kim said.
Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell says at this point Oahu residents should not expect a curfew.
“We are taking action I think the shutting down of restaurants, bars is part of that the shutting down of our parks are really encouraging people to stay home is sufficient,” said Mayor Caldwell.