More COVID-19 rules ‘likely’

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    A Kaua‘i Ocean Safety Bureau water safety officer patrols a deserted strip of beach fronting the popular Morgans Ponds, Sunday afternoon.

LIHU‘E — Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami, in consultation with Governor David Ige and the mayors of the other islands, is expected to refine Kaua‘i’s response to the COVID-19 during announcements that will be released, today.

The press release containing the announcement of refinements states that Kaua‘i has no evidence of community spread, and each of the counties is independently developing responses to COVID-19, but working in close collaboration with each other, with the state Department of Health officials, emergency management leadership, and the Governor’s Office.

Among the refinements for Kaua‘i, details of the Kaua‘i Stay at Home program will be released, Monday.

On rural Kaua‘i, we already have a robust response platform in place with limitations on public gatherings as well as night-time curfews. Mayor Kawakami is waiting for full authority from the governor to enact a coordinated response in order to fine tune the island’s protections, the release states.

Under the expected guidance from the state, Kaua‘i residents will be asking to stay at home and work from home to reduce the chance of catching or spreading this virus.

“We hope to keep a lid on the virus and allow time to restock critically short supplies of masks, ventilators, and other medical gear, including personal protective equipment for our first responders,” said a county spokesperson.

Some of the details of the Kaua‘i Stay at Home program include all travel will be prohibited unless for critical health and safety purposes, shopping for food or other important consumer products.

The expected order exempts those doing work that provides essential products.

First responders, health care facilities, banks, gas station, farming and fishing, hardware stores, delivery services, professional services, restaurants doing delivery and carryout services, and critical trades are among those that will keep operating.

Kaua‘i residents could engage in outdoor activities like walking, running, surfing, and other healthy outdoor activities, but are urged always maintain six-foot social distancing.

Full details of the Kaua‘i Stay at Home program will be similar to those used in San Francisco, Illinois, and elsewhere, and will be released Monday.

On Saturday afternoon, Mayor Kawakami signed Emergency Rule No. 4 which requires non-residents to obtain a day-use permit for any County of Kaua‘i beach park.

“While we support the recently-announced mandatory 14-day quarantine by Gov. Ige, visitors are still allowed to travel to Kaua‘i, and many remain on the island,” Kawakami said in a release. “Our residents and local businesses have worked hard to follow current guidelines in place for COVID-19, and are understandably frustrated when they see visitors at our parks and beaches blatantly disregarding social distancing and other enhanced health measures. This rule will help to ensure proper social distancing in our shared public spaces.”

The Emergency Rule No. 4 provides an exemption for residents in the State of Hawai‘i, and residents using county parks must carry proof of residency that include a state ID, driver’s license, or school ID.

“I am concerned that visitors at our beach parks are not exercising social distancing as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control,” Kawakami said. “This emergency rule helps work toward ensuring our community spaces can be used by our residents to engage in activities to maintain their mental health during this difficult time.”

Under terms of Emergency Rule No. 4, a park permit of $5 per person will be assessed. Each non-resident individual, regardless of age, must have a separate permit to use the beach park. There will be a limit of 100 permits per day for beach park usage islandwide to encourage social distancing.

Additionally, a parking fee of $50 per vehicle, per day, will be required to park in the park’s parking stalls.

Proof of purchase must be displayed in the windshield of each vehicle parked within a county beach park parking lot.

Enforcement of the rule will be carried out via spot checks by rangers from the county’s Department of Parks and Recreation. Any non-resident without the permits can be found guilty of a misdemeanor, a fine of not more than $5,000, and/or imprisoned not more than one year.

The day-use permits can be obtained at the Dept. of Parks and Recreation website at


Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or

  1. yessah March 23, 2020 8:04 am Reply

    kawakami is really stepping up in this time and representing the people of kauai in their best interests. thank you mr mayor, you are greatly appreciated!!!

  2. Tina Torres March 23, 2020 8:36 am Reply

    We were booked to go to Kauai for April 14th, we cancelled. I totally agree, no flights in should be happening at this time. I live in a coastal town in Oregon and see the idiot people not listening to the distancing rule’s

  3. jenna anders March 23, 2020 10:01 am Reply

    Charging $5 to use the beach for tourists? First off many locals at the beaches (esp. Saltpond) are within a few feet of each other. No social distancing by our own people. And sending out the friendly islands are unfriendly will result in simply a huge drop in visitors.

    No problem you say? Well since almost all of Kaaui’s economy is tourist based – what will happen to locals when they lose their jobs and not afford payments on their expensive mortgages?

    This is a short sighted, fearful and petty act. We are better then this…And it will cost us all.
    Jenna Anders

  4. Paul Revere March 23, 2020 11:38 am Reply

    I called the mayor’s office with these points. Please call with common sense solutions, comments.

    – Too much media hype and fear. Study all angles.
    – Defend our constitutional rights. Authoritarians seize upon these opportunities.
    – It’s mostly been old and sick dying.
    – Social controls in St. Louis for the Spanish flu backfired somewhat, creating a longer problem.
    – Too tight of rules will economically hurt too much, not worth it. It could make some leave island, leaving debts, rent, and exposing us to airplane virus. ( Airplane the worst place to be ).
    – Penalties for curfew, etc. are far too high. This should not be signed into law. Poor discretion and leadership. I will be calling my congress person and senator to discuss this.
    – No one I know likes the curfew, opposite of what the media says.

    It seems this virus was allowed to travel worldwide. Why weren’t airplanes, ships, borders checked / sealed a month ago? We stopped all air travel on 911 in one day. Why not this? Airplanes must be the main way it gets around. Russia’s had few cases, but they took strong preventive measures a month ago.

    We should see natural health remedies and virus histories in the media.

    Garden Island: You do lightweight, one sided articles. Let’s see strong journalism. Thank you for being here and the comment section.

    Stay healthy and defend your rights.

  5. Aleksandr Naumenkov March 23, 2020 1:52 pm Reply

    Don’t understand such kind negative comments here. Plus I see it here only. WHAT WILL BAD, IF EVEN TOTALLY TO PROHIBIT ALL TOURISTS AND VISITORS FOR 14-30 DAYS! But it will much more expensive, when later we will have hundreds infected..! See Italy AT LEAST and open your eyes lady and gentlemen. And read only seriously articles, like this. Thank you and God bless this good kind person in our Kauai’s government! MAHALO!

  6. RevW March 23, 2020 3:03 pm Reply

    Thank you for finally mentioning agricultural work in the context of quarantine exemption.

  7. Michael D Mann March 23, 2020 3:23 pm Reply

    “Why weren’t airplanes, ships, borders checked / sealed a month ago? We stopped all air travel on 911 in one day. Why not this?”

    First, the states don’t have the authority to ground planes. Aviation is a FEDERAL issue.

    Second, during 911, we had a President that actually took the threat seriously. Even though I still say he was dumber than a pet rock, the response at the time made some sense, TO HIS CREDIT. If you want to blame someone for not grounding planes, you are barking up the wrong tree if you continue giving a pass to the idiot occupying the White House. Get mad at me all you want for saying that.

    Third, asking the newspaper to report on things that don’t exist like “natural health remedies” is simply insane. If a “natural health remedy” existed, don’t you think the CHINESE, who have been engaged in such things for a long time, would have stopped the virus using such techniques?

    This is exactly the kind of irrationality I was talking about in my letter from a few days ago! Why won’t people stop and think about what they are saying and doing???

    Fourth, I have heard NOBODY complaining about the curfew. Kauai mostly shuts down at 9 PM anyway.

    Fifth, your “Constiturional rights” don’t mean much of anything if you are in bed drowning from fluid in your lungs.

    Sixth, did you HONESTY just minimize this issue because it affects mostly the old and already ill? Did I interpret that correctly? Surely you can not be so stupendously callous.

    Seventh, people ALL OVER THE WORLD are dealing with exactly the same restrictions, put in place to try to halt the spread and SAVE YOUR LIFE. That you automatically focus on “authoritarianism,” when it is the creature in the White House who has a demonstrated affinity for authoritarianism, makes no sense.

    Everything about your comment is as wrong as it can possibly be…almost as if you were purposefully trying to make it so!

    1. Aleksandr Naumenkov March 24, 2020 2:25 pm Reply

      Unfortunately you are very right, sir. It is very seriously well known Federal problem…I only don’t understand why our State governor not said this word to so many our people, who asked him to close Hawaii’s airports / state ?

  8. Oscar March 23, 2020 4:18 pm Reply

    When the small businesses that are destroyed by this shut down go to court after this…it isn’t very likely that the courts will rule 3 cases and no deaths is a state of “emergency”.

  9. Crystal Clear March 23, 2020 7:47 pm Reply

    Paul Revere to the rescue? I think not. He is typical of the Covideniers. Our Mayor is exemplary and if Paul revere actually lived on Kauai which he doesn’t or if he does he is a snowbird i would assume judging form his head in the sand complaints, let us look at the facts that the overwhelming temperature of the entire internet thousands of comments everywhere are praising our mayor who took the first and strongest steps to secure the island he was born and raised on.

    No one and i mean no one has a more actual and real caring for the Kupuna and those at risk than he does. His qualities early on distinguished him as some one special. DO you know, Sir what the whole internet is saying?

    That they wish he was their mayor, and that he should be governor. I agree, I second that, and if he runs for governor he would win in an overwhelming landslide victory!! Young, driven, professional, born and raised, educated, he is the entire package. he has a lovely family and he has made the best decisions for our island. Mayor no none can bring us back like you can, so get voted in again, max out as mayor and then run for governor. wow wouldn’t that be amazing. people are saying if he ran today, he would win and others are saying bump Ige and install Derek immediately even Oahu guys are praising his talents!! I am strongly in Dereks side, and so are most of the real residents of this island!

    I applaud you, mayor. do not bow to people like the guy above who has no stake in our island Kauai always marches to a different beat. We had no more cases today which should tell you something. its working. so we need to keep it up. while al;l the other island had more cases we didn’t now you think about that.
    Dont go saying “Oh wow, we got no cases why we doing this for?”. Hey do not be a pocho loco dummy, ok?
    Wake up and smell the opihi!
    Enjoy the quiet times like we used to have. take a break, be with your ohana. there is good in this although we cant see it now.,
    I bet after this, our island will most definitely diversify so that we will not only rely on tourism from now on!
    Independent Kauai now, and forever! Let the rest try and figure it out our mayor had it down.

    1. Iren March 28, 2020 12:03 pm Reply

      >I bet after this, our island will most definitely diversify so that we will not only rely on tourism from now on!
      o yes, diversification is on the way!
      May I ask you, Crystal, what kind of diversification you are expecting?
      Start over with sugar cane plantations? (I hope you remember the first reason why there are not so many of those around) Should Kauai build some processor manufacturing plant and become a competitor for Taiwan? Or maybe it’s a good time to create a silicon shore and compete with silicon valley?

  10. vinnyb March 23, 2020 9:15 pm Reply

    Hahaha…… wonder how much the visitor industry has contributed to Mayor Kawakami’s campaign coffers. The order is for residence to bunker down while visitors continue to flock Kauai.They are the only one allowed to roam around the beaches of Kauai. Its already established the infection on Kauai was imported and yet they continue to let visitors come in.

  11. Iren March 28, 2020 9:40 am Reply

    All of that so wonderful. It would be hilarious if it would not be so irritating.
    1) Blame them!
    Of course there all those people not exercising social distancing are cracking tourists! There is no way to have ignorant idiots among our folk. Here on the Islands are only outstanding citizens.
    2) Lets charge those all tourists $5 a day beach permit!
    Can anybody explain me how exactly that will solve the problem of people ignoring social distancing? Or I misunderstood something, and it will be OK for a person with a permit to do so? Than why is it called a beach park permit, lets call it a “no distancing” permit.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, send us an email.