With COVID-19 cases rising exponentially — including 152 cases and two deaths today — Gov. David Ige imposed a partial 14-day quarantine on interisland travel and approved the closure of all Oahu state and county parks and beaches.
At a news conference this afternoon, the governor announced he would reinstate the quarantine for all interisland travelers, although he added that details his order were still being developed.
Later, after talking to Attorney General Clare Connors, Ige decided to approve the inter-island travel quarantine only for travelers arriving on the counties of Kauai, Hawaii, Maui and Kalawao on Molokai.
The quarantine requirement applies to anyone traveling to these islands. The period of self-quarantine will begin immediately upon arrival and last 14 days or the duration of the person’s stay on the island, whichever is shorter.
Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell, appearing with the governor at the virtual press conference, said the closures are necessary to crackdown on large gatherings, a key source of coronavirus spread.
Caldwell said the parks and beaches will be closed effective Saturday at 12:01 a.m. through Sept. 5. He said the public can traverse the park to access the ocean and use the restrooms.
The public can also access four voter ballot dropboxes located at public parks through Saturday. Team sports will no longer be allowed in public parks through Sept 5.
Caldwell, who closed Oahu bars last week, said there will increased enforcement on bars that remain open while operating as restaurants.
Honolulu Police Department Chief Susan Ballard also announced a new COVID-19 enforcement hotline starting Sunday at 10 a.m. Ballard added that 160 officers islandwide will step up to conduct enforcement and urged the public to call 723-3900 to report any violators.
Ige said the state was initially successful in keeping the daily counts low.
“But as we reopened our community, people let their guard down,” he said. “It’s been very disappointing, and I hate it when I see people not wearing masks, gathering in public places at the beach and the parks partying with no regard to the health and safety of our community.”
He urged people to take personal responsibility.
Health officials initially said today’s COVID-19 case count was 54, but Health Director Bruce Anderson noted at the news conference that today’s new cases are actually at least 200. The Department of Health reported 152 cases statewide late this afternoon, 148 of those on Oahu.