Hawai‘i Island Mayor Announces Two-Week Beach Park Closures Amid COVID-19 Spike

September 2, 2020, 5:15 PM HST · Updated September 3, 5:08 AM
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Hawai’i Island Mayor Harry Kim announced Wednesday afternoon the closure of all Hawai’i county and state beach parks from Sept. 4 through Sept. 18 to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. The press release announcement comes amid a spike of coronavirus cases on Hawai’i Island with several clusters linked to social gatherings.

Hawai’i Island had 35 new COVID-19 cases today for a cumulative of 418 for Hawai’i County.  The Big Island of Hawai’i now has 217 active cases and three deaths.

“We are at a critical stage, and we must stop the spread of the virus,” said Mayor Kim. “Everybody has kuleana to end the spread of COVID-19 on Hawai‘i Island, and by rallying as a community we can beat this.”

Beach parks and coastal parks may be used for direct access to and from the ocean in order to engage in exercise, fishing and gathering food. Park restrooms and showers will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.

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The following terms and conditions will be in effect, per an Amendment to the Mayor’s COVID-19 Emergency Rule No. 11:

  • Use of pavilions, barbecues, temporary canopies, pop-up tents, tarps and similar shade devices are not allowed.
  • Tables, hibachis, coolers, and other items commonly associated with picnicking and gatherings are prohibited.
  • Camping at all beach parks and shoreline parks is prohibited. All existing camping permits are hereby cancelled.
  • All commercial operations and activities are prohibited.
  • Camping at all beach parks and shoreline parks is prohibited. All existing camping permits are hereby cancelled.

To clarify, for Kailua Park, the restrictions only apply to the area makai of the runway. Lili‘uokalani Gardens remains open; however, the use of pavilions, barbecues, temporary canopies, pop-up tents, tarps and similar shad devices are not allowed, and tables, hibachis, coolers, and other items commonly associated with picnicking and gatherings are prohibited.

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