Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi and the Department of Parks and Recreation announced today that all keiki participants in the 2022 Summer Fun Program will be required to wear face masks while indoors or inside transportation vehicles.
The decision was made due to the continued increase in COVID-19 cases reported across the islands, according to a news release issued today.
Face masks will not be required outdoors, DPR said, but can be worn on a voluntary basis.
“As we find ourselves in this unique situation of increasing COVID cases with stable COVID hospitalizations, we have chosen to take these precautionary measures to keep the keiki and staff of our most popular park program safe,” said Blangiardi in the notice. “A majority of our City and park staff have already chosen to voluntarily wear masks in these types of settings, and we certainly encourage all staff and the public to take the best approach for their community and personal health in these decisions. Ultimately, I believe this is one of the many, many qualities of Hawaii that makes our islands so amazing; the overall consideration and empathy for our neighbors and being respectful of our diverse communities with what we say and do.”
DPR said it is currently in consultation with staff union representatives concerning a similar facial covering requirement for Summer Fun employees.
Officials said sanitizers and masks will be available throughout the program, along with additional COVID mitigation protocols. Parents are strongly urge to keep their keiki home if they are experiencing any symptoms of COVID or other transmissible sickness.
The city’s annual Summer Fun program will be offered at full capacity this year, on weekdays from June 6 through July 22, except holidays, at more than 50 park sites. Registration was conducted in-person at Summer Fun sites on May 14.
“We apologize for the change in COVID protocol after many families registered their keiki under the previous voluntary mask policy,” said officials in the notice. “Full refunds will be made available to parents who wish to remove their keiki from Summer Fun as a result of this policy change.”
To request a refund, parents should contact the park staff at the Summer Fun site where they registered.