O’ahu beaches, parks to close again until Sept. 5

Coronavirus

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Starting at midnight, O’ahu’s reinstated COVID restrictions will go into effect.

All state and city parks, beaches, and campgrounds will be closed. The new restrictions also include the closure of private and public pools, tennis clubs, team sports at parks, and indoor attractions like bowling, mini-golf and arcades.

All the above including hiking trails will also remain closed until Sept. 5.

However, gyms can remain open but group classes are not allowed. And many residents are not happy with the second shut down.

On Friday, hundreds of people hit the beach before the closure began.

“We were really bummed to hear the news that beaches were closing,” said Mililani resident Cherise Antoque-Tilton. “Today’s like our last day so we were like, let’s hurry up and get the beach out of our system before we have to stay home for the next however many weeks.”

Many residents understood why restrictions had to be put back in place, but are frustrated that others didn’t follow the rules.  

“We have the virus going around, we got to do what we can,” said Pearl City resident Kenneth Tanaka. “Can only blame the people who was doing all those parties.”

On Sunday, Aug. 2, a ‘jumping rock contest’ was held at Waimea Bay, which brought hundreds of people to the area with no social distancing observed.

Many are questioning why outdoor activities are being halted, when places like gyms, which have been linked to COVID clusters, are allowed to remain open.

“I’m not really happy about it,” said Honolulu resident Jennifer Lee. “Just because there’s other places that are having the cases.”

“I understand gatherings over 10, but two players one on each side while playing tennis six-feet apart,” explained one tennis player, Jaume Martinez.  “If they want to require gloves that’s fine but closing everything is a little too much for me.”

Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard said officers will be on beaches enforcing the reinstated closure.

No one is allowed to sit, stand, lay, or exercise on the beach. You may only be on the beach to get to the water to conduct activities such as swimming, surfing, diving, or fishing below the high-water mark.

Some people said fines should have been handed out to people who broke the rules when beaches were open.

HPD said those who don’t follow the new rules will be given tickets and/or possibly arrested.

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