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Honolulu police issued more than 200 citations on first day of park closures

Updated: Aug. 8, 2020 at 6:49 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Police issued more than 200 citations to people in parks and beaches on Saturday, mainly in Waikiki, on the first day of park closures on Oahu.

With Mayor Kirk Caldwell working to discourage social gatherings and address a surge in new COVID-19 infections on Oahu, there were no umbrellas, chairs or tents at Ala Moana Beach Park.

It was a similar sight on the North Shore and west side.

“I didn’t see any loungers and even the surf was relatively empty,” said John Murray, of Kaneohe, who was surfing at Ala Moana Beach Park.

Under the mayor’s orders, people can cross through the parks and over the sand to get to the water.

But that’s about it.

“A little exercise, but can’t hang out at the beach so just going straight to the water and heading right back out,” said James Bechtold, of Mililani, who went swimming on the North Shore.

There were also people snorkeling, surfing and even fishing, but residents said it felt similar to the first shutdown.

“I think last time the lock down came it seemed about the same, you know they closed off each end and then the police, they’re in the park,” said Murray.

The order is in effect through Sept. 4, and several beachgoers said they support the restrictions.

“It’s necessary, the coronavirus cases are increasing, so I think people got really lax,” said Bechtold. “We got to do something.”

“We’ve been so good and so lucky and then it’s gotten really scary I think,” added Murray. “And hopefully we can get it back under control because you just don’t know.”

HPD’s COVID Enforcement Hotline goes into effect Sunday.

To file complaints by phone, call 723-3900 or send an email to HPDcovidenforce@honolulu.gov.

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