Kauai beaches to reopen with restrictions under 2-week pilot program

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Updated: May. 13, 2020 at 1:59 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Kauai beaches will reopen Friday as part of a two-week test involving a new set of restrictions to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

The announcement, made early Wednesday afternoon, features four primary elements:

  • Visitors to the beach should be part of the same household, and not in groups of more than 10 people.
  • Anyone on the beach should socially distance themselves from anyone who isn’t a member of their own household, in accordance with guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
  • The sandy areas of beaches are to be closed overnight, only opening 30 minutes before sunrise until 30 minutes after sunset. Shoreline fishing or other outdoor exercises are exceptions to this restriction.
  • All of the other restrictions within Governor David Ige’s “Safer At Home” order are to be followed.

“The intent of this two-week period is to monitor our ability to open our beaches while following CDC guidelines, and to maintain social distancing with people who are not in our same household,” Mayor Derek Kawakami’s office said Wednesday. “As we get closer to the end of the two-week pilot we will re-evaluate if we can or should continue this local rule.”

In most other parts of the state, including on Oahu, beaches have been open for exercise only, with individuals being allowed to walk or run or participate in aquatic activities but unable to simply lie on the sand.

Beaches reopening will come with one other caveat, according to Kawakami: all mandatory quarantine rules that are in effect for travelers to the island are being extended until at least June 30.

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