Fresh air at last!
Mayor Michael Victorino on Friday reopened the Waiehu Golf Course and select public parks and beach parks as the first phase of easing COVID-19 restrictions on Maui.
However, no picnicking, lounging or lollygagging allowed. Activity in parks is limited to exercise only: walking, jogging, biking and ocean activities.
“Golf courses and parks were selected to open first because they’re considered low-risk and allow exercise with social distancing and other safeguard measures,” Victorino said.
At the popular Waiehu course, only one person will be allowed in a golf cart unless the second person is a spouse or family member living in the same residence. And anyone over the age of 5 shall wear a face mask or cloth covering the nose and mouth until they are on the course.
To avoid spreading the virus through contact, there will be no flags at the holes and each cart will carry a rake for sand trap restoration. Golfers should bring their own water and snacks; no refreshments will be sold and water stations will be closed.
No sharing of golf equipment, either. Golf course staff will be sanitizing carts after each round.
Walk-ups will not be accepted; reservations for tee times are required (call the starter’s booth at 270-7400). Payment will be by credit or debit card only — no cash.
County parks and beach parks that reopened Friday include:
>> North Shore/East Maui: Hana Ball Park and Beach Park, Keanae, Hookipa, Lower Paia.
>> Central Maui: Kahului Community Park, Keopuolani, Hoaloha, Waiehu Beach Park.
>> South Maui: South Maui Community Park, Liloa Drive Bike Trail in Kihei, Kamaole Beach Parks I, II and III.
>> West Maui: Lahaina Recreation Center, Napili, Wahikuli Wayside.
>> Upcountry: New Kula Ballfield (aka Kula Recreation Center), Pukalani.
Although those parks and beach parks are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., the public is prohibited from using playground equipment, basketball or tennis courts, grills, picnic tables, benches, pavilions, skate parks or gymnasiums. No congregating or organized sports are permitted.
“We must remain vigilant with social distancing, wearing face coverings and practicing good hygiene,” Victorino said in a statement. “If we see increasing numbers of cases, we may need to reimpose restrictions. We will be watching for warning signs very carefully.”