HONOLULU (KHON2) — This Memorial Day weekend will be different from previous years. With the COVID-19 pandemic, officers and lifeguards will now not only be checking to make sure people are safe, but also if people are following the state’s rules.
Officials are asking that people social distance unless they are part of the same household.
“While we understand people want to get out this weekend, people have to remember that COVID-19 does exist in this state, and it is necessary to protect themselves by maintaining social distancing,” said Jason Redulla, chief of the Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (the DLNR’s enforcement branch).
On Thursday, DOCARE officers caught teenagers ignoring social distancing rules on board several boats off-shore of the Maunalua Bay boat ramp.
“It looks like they were having a party on board,” said Redulla. “We did send officers out there to make contact, to educate them and disperse them.”
Redulla said this weekend will not be any different. Officers will be handing out citations and warnings as needed.
“Officers will be out there enforcing those restrictions. We’ll also be in our state parks statewide enforcing our park regulations,” said Redulla. “It really is an all hands-on-deck situation, pretty much all my officers statewide will be working this weekend.
Lifeguards will also be out in full force across beaches.
“Just like last Memorial and the next Memorial Day, we are fully staffed,” said J.R. Sloane, Ocean Safety captain.
Additional lifeguards will be added if the need arises.
“We encourage people to swim near a lifeguard tower so when you go near to the beach. Look for the big tower and sit next to that. Of course, social distancing this year… but stay safe and we’ll be there if you need us,” said Sloane.
DOCARE officers say if anyone sees rules being broken, to report it to DLNR by calling 643-3567 (DLNR). You can also report it using the DLNR tip app.