Mayor reopens Oahu beaches, sets a date for allowing dine-in service at restaurants

Mayor reopens Oahu beaches, sets a date for allowing dine-in service at restaurants
Retail businesses on Oahu were allowed to begin reopening on Friday, and many did so — with a slew of new restrictions. Others waited, still putting together plans to help minimize the risk of coronavirus. (Source: Jonathan Saupe/Hawaii News Now)

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Looking for something to do this weekend? Head to the beach.

Oahu beaches will open Saturday for sunbathing, small gatherings and other activities — but beachgoers are asked to follow social distancing guidelines.

The city announced Friday afternoon it got approval from the governor to lift restrictions on beaches.

In a news release, the city said that beaches and sand bars can be used for gatherings with some restrictions:

  • All groups are limited to members of the same household;
  • No group can exceed 10 people;
  • All people on the beach who aren’t part of the same household should follow social distancing guidelines, staying at least 6 feet apart at all times

Meanwhile, Kauai beaches reopened Friday for a two-week pilot program.

A similar initiative will kick off Saturday in Maui County.

Residents have been asking Hawaii leaders for weeks to reopen beaches. But the governor has resisted those calls, fearing a surge in gatherings in which coronavirus could spread.

His OK for lifting restrictions is thanks to the low number of new COVID-19 cases in Hawaii daily.

Retailers, shopping malls and a number of other businesses are now opened statewide.

And on Friday night, Mayor Kirk Caldwell said he’d gotten the governor’s approval to reopen dine-in services at Oahu restaurants on June 5. Guidelines are still being finalized and will be announced sometime next week.

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