Despite statewide restriction on mass gatherings, large groups continue to meet

Despite statewide restriction on mass gatherings, large groups continue to meet
This is the scene at a Waikiki hostel last night. At least sixteen people -- mostly tourists -- drinking and socializing in close quarters -- in apparent violation of the state's social gathering restrictions. (Source: none)

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Some people — both tourists and local — aren’t obeying the statewide order to avoid mass gatherings.

And they’re not hiding it either.

In Waikiki on Friday night, police broke up a group of at least 16 people — mostly tourists — drinking and socializing in close quarters on the rooftop of a hostel on Cartwright Road.

A neighbor who filed a noise complaint said the parties were a regular occurrence.

In Waianae on Saturday, dozens — if not hundreds — met at a property on Paakea Road, despite repeated complaints by neighbors.

“That’s so irresponsible. It’s putting our community at risk," said Dr. Scott Miscovich, a member of the state’s COVID-19 task force.

“They need to be shut down.”

Scores of people congregated at this property in Waianae. A local lawmakers said the site is often used for illegal chicken fights.
Scores of people congregated at this property in Waianae. A local lawmakers said the site is often used for illegal chicken fights. (Source: None)

The Waikiki hostel’s management said most of the guests arrived on the island before the state’s mandatory 14-day quarantine went into effect.

“Guests are not allowed to congregate," the hostel’s management said.

"We do have signs informing guests to follow social distancing, however on this occasion we were unable to fully enforce this due to the short staffing.”

Tourists aren’t the only ones being accused of violating Hawaii’s mass gathering restrictions. Neighbors and lawmakers said the gatherings at the Waianae home occur regularly.

“We know there’s some questionable activity that’s going on. The community knows that there’s some kind of so-called chicken fighting, gambling and all that kind of stuff," said Ewa Beach Sen. Kurt Fevella.

But Fevella said he’s more worried about the mass gathering itself than the alleged illegal activity.

“They should stop it and take this thing real seriously. This virus thing is not a game," he said.

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