HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Oahu and Maui County residents flocked to the beaches Saturday, after the month-long ban on sunbathing and relaxing on the beach was lifted.
“The feeling is amazing. It reminds me of these long summer days now -- so excited,” said May Nguyen of Kailua.
For some, the beach reopenings will help ease stress levels for residents taxed by nearly two months of stay-at-home restrictions.
“I feel it’s definitely a good thing to get out of the house. Because being in the house, cooped up can also weaken out immune system,” said Kamalu Kepa of Waimanalo.
Added Lena Haapala of Kaimuki:
“It’s nice we can come out here. We don’t have that much of a restriction. Families can enjoy the beach together and you can actually lay out in the sand,” she said.
Most of the beach goers that we saw avoided gathering in large clusters -- especially in tourist-barren Waikiki.
“I feel people are social distancing. We’re enjoying the beautiful weather and I couldn’t be happier," said Lauren Hall of Kakaako.
But not all agree.
“I feel that people are not taking that much care about being six feet apart," said Sabrina Kino of Kaimuki.
“I am a little bit concerned. The coronavirus is still out there and I’m not sure there will be a second wave or something.”
Reopening the beaches represents a major milestone. After this, the state and counties will have to consider relaxing restrictions on higher risk activities, such as sit-down restaurants and inter-island travel.
“As I discussed yesterday with the Governor, he is allow Oahu to open restaurants in-dining on June 5th. And we’ll be issuing our order to do that on Monday or Tuesday," said Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell.
The mayor said an order to relax quarantine requirements for interisland travel will likely be issue next month.