All Hawaii Island beach parks will remain closed through Sept. 30, Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim announced Wednesday afternoon.
The intent of the extended closure of all county and state beach parks is to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 by limiting gatherings at the beaches, according to the mayor. Kim closed beach parks on Sept. 4 as coronavirus cases surged on the island with a tentative reopening date of Saturday.
Beach parks are now slated to reopen at 7 a.m. Oct. 1.
“Everybody has been really cooperative and have observed the rules to keep us all safe,” said Kim. “The past two weeks have shown a tremendous improvement, and we want to make sure that we keep slowing the spread of the virus.”
Beach parks and coastal parks may be used for direct access to and from the ocean in order to engage in exercise, fishing and gathering food. Park restrooms and showers will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.
Emergency Rule 11 explicitly prohibits the use of pavilions, barbecues, temporary canopies, pop-up tents, tarps and similar shade devices and tables, hibachis, coolers, and other items commonly associated with picnicking and gatherings. In addition, all commercial operations and activities at the sites are prohibited. Camping is prohibited and all existing permits have been canceled.