State’s emergency order requires everyone to wear face masks at essential businesses

State’s emergency order requires everyone to wear face masks at essential businesses
This April 3, 2020 selfie photo provided by Coty George shows George in Waianae, Hawaii, wearing a green cloth mask with yellow and orange puakenikeni flowers made by the Hawaii designer Ari South. (Source: Coty George)

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The governor is now mandating that everyone wear a face mask or covering while in essential businesses — or while waiting to get inside.

The requirement was included in an emergency supplemental proclamation issued Friday and takes effect immediately. But it wasn’t clear how — or when — it would be enforced.

The face mask requirement applies to both employees and customers in essential businesses.

The order also:

  • Requires businesses to monitor and enforce social distancing rules of at least 6 feet between customers and employees;
  • and requires limits to the number of customers in a facility to only the number allowed when following social distancing guidelines.

Also Friday, the governor issued new rules that clarify that all beaches are closed, and that lounging or sunbathing on the sand is not allowed. People can still cross beaches to get to the ocean.

The state also said that no more than two people or a single family are allowed on recreational boats, and group hiking is not allowed.

The governor’s proclamation comes as face masks are already mandatory on Kauai.

On Oahu, the city has ordered residents to wear face masks during most public interactions — including in stores and on the city bus — starting Monday.

Officials have stressed that masks for the public should be cloth — not the medical masks used to protect health care workers. Masks should not be worn by children 2 and under, or anyone who has trouble breathing.

The CDC had previously urged people not to wear masks, saying that gave people a false sense of security.

But authorities changed those guidelines after scientists realized that about 1 in 4 people with coronavirus are asymptomatic. That means people who don’t feel sick could unknowingly transmit it to others.

Masks can protect their wearers, but chiefly protect others. So a universal mask policy can protect a wide swath of the population, public health advocates say.

Proclamation by HNN on Scribd

This story will be updated.

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