What’s Open in West Hawaii: July 2020

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This past month the state has continued to reduce the shutdown restrictions for businesses, parks, and beaches. As of June 26, passive beach use is allowed at all State Park beaches! However, due to financial strain some beaches have been forced to keep their gates closed due to lack of resource management. Here is a breakdown of beach uses in West Hawaii:

Camping will reopen with new social distancing requirements for some sites on Hawai’I Island. Tents from the same group must be separate by a minimum of 10 feet, while tents from separate groups must be separated by more than 20 feet.  Campers are also responsible for bringing their own disinfecting supplies and disinfecting any common area surfaces before and after use. Here is a breakdown of camp sites that are slated to open:

Public swimming pools, bars, and organized sports in phases are the newest re-openings in Hawaii County. Bars are now open for groups with a max of 10 people as long as they maintain 6 feet of separation from other groups and do not intermingle with other groups. Face masks are not required when sitting down but are required when entering and leaving the bar.

Swimming pools are allowed to reopen on July 13 with modified hours and modified rules that are to be set forth by the Director of Parks and Recreation. Another activity that is resuming operations are organized sports. The County of Hawaii has entered phase 1 to open sports like baseball, soccer, volleyball, basketball and similar sports. The regulations required under this phase includes maintaining a physical distance of six feet between players and a maximum number of 35 people per group.

The inter-island travel quarantine was lifted on June 16, and so far COVID cases have remained manageable and low. Many residents can now reconnect with family and friends or travel for work. And starting August 1, the travel quarantine will be eliminated for trans-Pacific travel. Understanding that there is no effective plan that will be zero risk, the goal of the Governor’s plan to re-open Hawaii to tourism is to “minimize risk”. Starting next month, incoming visitors and residents can avoid the 14-day quarantine when entering the state by testing negative for COVID-19 72 hours prior to their arrival in the state. With tourism halted, Hawaii’s economy remains stressed with an unemployment level of about 22%. With reopening the economy to tourism, Governor Ige states that “we need to reimagine tourism so visitors can be respectful of native Hawaiian culture, the environment and our public health.”

Here are a few useful links that we recommend if you are looking for more information on current openings throughout the state and the lifted restrictions on travel.

Department of Land and Natural Resources – Division of State Parks
Governor Ige’s News Release – State to Launch COVID-19 Pre-Travel Testing
Mayor Harry Kim Emergency Proclamation #9