Lt. Gov. Josh Green is asking the city and state to change Oahu’s latest stay-at-home order to allow residents living in the same household to do outdoor activities together.
Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell is opening parks, beaches and hiking trails Thursday only for solo activities, including reading, meditating, eating, jogging and sitting on the beach alone.
Green said that part of the order is not sensible and should be loosened for public safety.
“The part of order that is a head-scratcher of course is this idea that people can’t go out in groups of more than one to the beach or to the beach park or hiking. That’s not based on science or medicine,” Green told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s Spotlight Hawaii. “It’s unsafe to send people out hiking by themselves. The same thing goes if you’re swimming, if you’re in ocean. I don’t think that order is smart.”
Parents should be able to do outdoor activities with their children, he added.
“It’s the household that should be allowed to get together. We don’t want to use the word ‘families’ necessarily,” he said. “You could have your aunties in a different household and they are in a different risk zone and they could not have the same bubble. I’m not trying to undermine (the city’s) main premise that we have to keep the numbers down for another two weeks, but I do think that a big part of this is compliance and getting people to accept what we’re doing and to make it work without too much pain.”
A representative for Caldwell didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
When asked why households would not be allowed to gather in public parks, beaches and hiking trails, the mayor said Tuesday that it would be too difficult for law enforcement because there would be no way to determine whether or not groups were from the same household or violating the order.
The city is trying to “create very simple, bright-line enforcement measures” so Oahu doesn’t return to out-of-control gatherings that caused cases to explode this summer, Caldwell said Tuesday, when announcing the extended stay-at-home order.
Kaimuki resident Rudy Tulonghari agreed that the latest mandate simply doesn’t make sense.
“Mainly I’m thinking about families with young children being that most of them are not in school. They need to get their exercise as well. You can’t expect these kids at that age to be able to monitor themselves at the park,” he said. “What could’ve been done to accommodate Mayor Caldwell’s mandate is maybe have one adult and up to two children max. The main thing he was looking for was to prevent large social gatherings. I can understand it’s hard to tell a cluster of people being from the same household, but maybe having something where one parent and two children together is probably easier to manage.”