How Long Will Hawaiian Beaches Be Closed
The coronavirus pandemic spread across the world in early 2020 and wreaked havoc. As the virus spread from country to country, the effects were devastating. Hospitals became overwhelmed, economies shut down, travel became grounded, and borders even closed. At this time, 636,000 people have died worldwide from COVID-19.
To this day, we don’t know how long the coronavirus pandemic will last. However, Hawaii’s response to the coronavirus pandemic has been swift. They immediately closed businesses and cancelled events. They quickly instituted a 14-day quarantine and careful contact tracing. To this day, Hawaii has the fewest cases per capita of any US state.
The situation is changing daily but businesses and parks across Hawaii are very slowly and carefully beginning to reopen.
UPDATED: OCTOBER 15, 2020
State Beaches: Beaches are currently open but gatherings are limited to five people or less. Members of the party do not need to be from the same household. Canopy structures are not allowed at this time.
Oahu: As of October 1, beaches are currently open but gatherings are limited to five people or less. Members of the party do not need to be from the same household. Canopy structures are not allowed at this time.
Maui: As of August 28, beaches and County parks are open; however, the County may close parks for maintenance or repairs, to address safety concerns, or for COVID-related response. Gatherings are limited to ten people of less. Waiale Park shall remain closed to accommodate the provision of temporary emergency shelters. County parks and beach parks will be open from 7:00 a.m. through 7:00 p.m. Only permitted commercial activities are allowed. No tents, beach umbrellas, party bouncers (bouncing castles, etc.), water or other slides, or the use of any structures (including pavilions) will be allowed at any beaches or County parks. Grills may not be used at any beach or County park. Persons at any County park must comply with Rule 5.
Applicable to beaches from Rule 5: Persons shall comply with the following physical distancing and sanitation requirements:
A. Face covering. Persons must wear a face mask or covering while outside their place of residence (as defined in Rule 1). Persons over the age of 5 years old must wear a face mask or cloth covering the nose and mouth while in all indoor public spaces, including on public or shared transportation, unless specifically provided for otherwise in these rules.
Masks are not required while swimming or in water. As of October 6, surf and swim competitions are allowed to resume.
Big Island: Hawaiʻi County Mayor Harry Kim has signed the COVID-19 Emergency Rule #12, reopening all County and State Beach Parks effective October 1, and clarifying quarantine locations.
While the new rule reopens beach parks, “all persons must abide by face covering, physical distancing, and gathering requirements of no more than 10 persons,” the rule states.
Camping at all beach parks and shoreline parks remains prohibited, the new rule mandates.
Under the new rule, face coverings are not required in the following circumstances:
- Persons five (5) years of age or younger;
- Persons with health or medical conditions that prevents them from wearing a face covering;
- Persons actively communicating with a person who is hearing impaired, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication;
- Persons actively engaged in exercise activity so long as physical distancing requirements are maintained;
- Persons who are engaged in outdoor activities when alone, with members of their household, or when able to maintain a distance of at least six (6) feet from others.
Kauai: As of September 21, most Kauai beaches are open with the exception of Polihale. For more information, go to kauai.gov.
Most Beaches Are Closed
The islands across Hawaii are opening beaches according to their number of cases and local leadership. Islands are still asking those in public to social distance and exercise caution. The current openings and closures of beaches per island are as follows:
In Oahu, beaches have officially been open since May 16, 2020.
Most parks and beaches are officially open in Maui. For a comprehensive list of open beaches, please visit mauicounty.gov.
Most parks and beaches are open on the Big Island, but if there is a significant rise in cases, that could change. For updates on the Big Island’s closures and openings, please visit their website at hawaiicounty.gov.
Parks and beaches are open in Kauai.
Traveling to Hawaii right now is not advised. There is a mandatory 14-day quarantine in place for all passengers entering Hawaii. This includes both tourists and returning residents and the restrictions are strict.
Those affected by the quarantine may not utilize peer-to-peer rental or sharing services. For example, car rental companies are not allowed to rent a car to quarantined individuals. Quarantined passengers must designate a hotel or motel as their quarantine location and may not leave their room unless they’re receiving medical services. They are not allowed to name a vacation home or short-term rental as their quarantine destination. Quarantined individuals are not allowed to go swimming in the hotel pool or leave their room. Food will be delivered to the visitor’s rooms and they are responsible for all costs.
Given the circumstances, travelers are strongly advised to postpone any travel plans to Hawaii for the near future.
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