Mayors discourage gatherings this Labor Day weekend


HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Honolulu COVID-19 emergency orders are the strictest with stay-at-home orders, social gatherings are not allowed, but neighbor islands are also stepping up restrictions ahead of Labor Day weekend.

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The Honolulu Police Department is averaging 100 calls a day to its COVID-19 enforcement hotline, and HPD’s COVID enforcement teams will be patrolling over the holiday weekend.

The parks and beaches remain closed but activities like swimming and fishing are allowed, although even fishing groups are restricted to two people.

The closure of beaches and shoreline parks also reached Hawaii County, the order goes into place on Friday ahead of Labor Day weekend.

Lt. Gov. Josh Green supports Hawaii Mayor Harry Kim’s amendments to the order. He said not placing restrictions on previous holiday weekends have led to outbreaks of the virus.

“I think Mayor Kim has made the right decision we learned that lesson the hard way on Oahu. We left things wide open on the fourth of July weekend when we had very large gatherings,” said Lt. Gov. Green.

The outbreak of cases on Oahu connected to Fourth of July gatherings served as a cautionary tale for neighbor islands. Kauai Mayor Derek Kawakami is keeping beaches and parks open but is limiting indoor gatherings to 10 people and 25 for outdoors.

“By the end of July, Oahu’s daily case numbers climbed into triple digits and they remain extremely high today,” Mayor Kawakami said. “But any gathering of people who don’t live together is a risk, if you plan to gather with others, please keep the group small practice physical distancing at all times and please wear your mask.”  

Maui County will also keep beaches open but its limiting gatherings to 10 people for both indoors and outdoors.

The neighbor islands still have a 14-day quarantine in place for all arrivals.

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