Hawaii won’t reopen anytime soon. Coronavirus stay-at-home order extended through May
Hawaii doubled down on its stay-at home order Saturday. With Georgia and a handful of states starting to reopen businesses, Hawaii Gov. David Ige went in the opposite direction. He extended the state’s stay-at-home order until May 31, keeping beaches closed to sunbathers and other businesses shut.
The order closed state parks and monuments as well as historical sites and recreation areas to stop the spread of coronavirus.
Ige’s order extended mandatory quarantine rules too. Anyone flying to the islands will have to quarantine at home or at their hotel for 14 days. As of Sunday, Hawaii reported 606 cases and 14 deaths, according to its health department’s website.
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The island of Kauai is indefinitely continuing a 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew that began March 20. “Every individual within the County of Kauai must remain in their residence during these specified hours,” a news release said.
To help residents pass the time while they stay at home, the county’s mayor, Derek Kawakami, has begun staging nightly live events on Facebook that have gone viral.
He begins by sharing community announcements before showing his constituents (and anyone else who watches) everything from making ice cream or fried Oreos to how to master native Hawaiian dances. His April 26 video showed residents how they can do an effective workout at home without access to the gym.
Kauai police have arrested dozens of people for violating stay-at-home orders, including the curfew and a 14-day quarantine for travelers arriving on the island. A news release stated that offenders will have to appear in court and face fines of up to $5,000 or a year in jail.
As of April 26, the County of Kauai had reported 21 cases of COVID-19 and no deaths. The county includes the islands of Kauai, Niʻhau, Lehua and Kaula.
During the pandemic, the Hawaii Tourism Authority also has told travelers to stay away too.
“While we’ve always welcomed people to Hawaii with open arms, health and safety is our first priority,” a statement posted on Facebook said. “So it’s with a heavy heart that we’re advising travelers not to visit the Hawaiian Islands at this time. [The governor] has asked that all trips be postponed for 30 days, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
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Though state beach parks are closed, people still have access to the ocean to exercise, including swimming and surfing. Ige’s latest stay-at-home order ended a ban on people walking or running on beaches as long as they practice social distancing. On Saturday, Honolulu reopened most city and county parks, including many beach parks, for walking, running, biking and other forms of exercise.
Amid the spread of the coronavirus to all 50 states, Hawaii and Alaska had earlier set quarantine rules for locals and arriving passengers. As of April 24, Alaska started to reopen dine-in restaurants, hair salons and barbershops and gyms while keeping social-distancing rules in place.
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