HONOLULU (KHON2) — Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced today all City and County of Honolulu parks will be closed until April 30.
“People should not be in the park lying down, kicking a ball, or throwing a ball, jogging, running or walking when the parks are closed,” said Mayor Caldwell.
At Ala Moana Beach Park, hours after the mayor announced the closure, there were still people playing soccer, exercising and jogging. Some were surprised that their routine would be changing.
“All of us are kind of bummed because this is just space to get out and get some exercise after work,” said Mia Onorato, a Honolulu resident.
Onorato said she often plays volleyball at the park and her boyfriend plays soccer every Wednesday.
“You know its the opportunity to meet people that you don’t see and get some exercise in,” said Onorato.
However, people gathering is what Mayor Caldwell said they’re trying to avoid.
“We discussed well could they go in and play basketball but not have a lot of people gather, it’s really difficult for our park staff to decide who can be in and who can be out of the park,” said Mayor Caldwell.
The Mayor’s Office said that if someone is found to be breaking park rules, they will be asked to leave the park or pay a small fine.
He said there may be exceptions.
“That doesn’t mean people won’t cross the park to get to the water… won’t cross the park to exercise their native Hawaiian gathering rights, those sorts of things could occur and I think there’s going to be flexibility there,” said Mayor Caldwell.
For Onorato, she said taking away the parks is taking away another part of normalcy and getting away from the confines of their house.
“It’s just a spot that they like to go. They come out of work and now we don’t even… for the people that do work, its like you go to work and then come home,” said Onorato.