Parks and hikes are closed, but that’s not keeping everyone away

Despite locks and yellow tape, some hikers venturing into closed areas.
Despite locks and yellow tape, some hikers venturing into closed areas.(Hawaii News Now)
Published: Apr. 1, 2020 at 5:42 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Despite orders to stay at home and practice social distancing, HNN has been flooded with complaints about tightly packed crowds and trespassing into closed areas.

A look around Oahu shows it’s clear some people are following the rules while others are not.

Koko Head Stairs, which is normally packed with hikers, was empty Wednesday. But Hawaii News Now spotted a couple walking at the closed Makapuu Lookout.

Several hikers were also seen walking up the Haunauma Bay ridge line ― even though the entire preserve is off limits to the public and the gates are locked with yellow tape.

"Even though it's closed over there and blockaded with this yellow tape, people go around and they are still walking around," said security officer Donald Martin.

The sign says violators could face a $500 fine and or prison time.

As for questions about people on the beach, Mayor Kirk Caldwell and Police Chief Susan Ballard say it's mostly about education for now.

“We do see examples of people lying in the sun which is not prohibited on the beach below the high water mark, but you should not be lying next to each other shoulder to shoulder," Caldwell said.

“You should be apart and practicing good social distancing.”

Hawaii News Now did talk to one family that admitted they were hiking on a trail that was off limits and said they disagreed with the closures because they needed to get out to exercise.

HNN also spotted many shoppers at Target in Salt Lake. Grocery stores are allowed to be open. It’s hard to say if everyone was keeping their distance, but several people were wearing masks.

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