A grand opening

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    A Wednesday afternoon angler tries his luck off the Po‘ipu Beach Park shoreline. Fishing is an allowed beach activity under the Safer at Home rules.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Kim and Dean Marth drove in from the Eastside to shop at the pop up farmers market before settling in at Brennecke’s Beach to watch five honu, Wednesday afternoon.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Everyone’s in the water at the Po‘ipu Beach Park, Wednesday afternoon.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Po‘ipu Beach Park on Wednesday afternoon.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Po‘ipu Beach Park on Wednesday afternoon.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Youth enjoy the shore break at Brennecke’s Beach, Wednesday. Swimming and surfing are allowed beach activities under the Safer at Home rules.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Jana Sheatz, Bella Hoyle, and Brittney Cabreira enjoy the water at Po‘ipu Beach Park, Wednesday afternoon.

LIHUE – Kaua‘i beaches are reopening on Friday, according to a Wednesday announcement by Mayor Derek Kawakami, who has also announced an extension of the mandatory quarantine for incoming travelers through June 30th.

Kawakami announced Emergency Rule 8, reopening beaches and 9, extending the quarantine, on Wednesday.

Under the new rules, individuals and families are allowed to use the beaches more casually and people can sunbathe, sit on the sand and eat on the beach and people are allowed to be on the beach/sand area from a half hour before sunlight to a half hour after sunset.

But, people can only congregate in groups of 10 or less and have to be part of the same household. Social distancing requirements must be followed for all people on the beach who aren’t part of the same household.

Beaches or sand area may only be used a half hour before sunrise to a half hour after sunset, unless a person is engaged in shoreline fishing or permitted outdoor exercise, and all the rules in Governor Ige’s Safer At Home order are still in effect.

Lihue resident, Nannie Apalla is ready for some beach time.

“I think its good news, we can spend some time outdoors, to get some fresh air with our families in a different setting instead of indoors,” said Apalla. “That has been the top of conversations, and we ask what are some alternatives for ourselves to stay mentally healthy?”

She continues: “Most of us are anxious for long periods of times staying in one place or being in a space for a long period of time takes a toll. I also think we should follow the rules so we can move forward and we don’t want to ruin it for others, all it takes is one person to ruin it for all of us.”

Apalla said she thinks the Mayor Kawakami and his team are doing their due diligence and she is confident in his leadership.

The new beach rules have also gotten cautious approval from public health officials like Kauai District Health Officer Dr. Janet Berreman, who reiterated safety precautions on Wednesday.

“The last couple of months have been very hard on our residents, and the Mayor’s new rule allowing safe beach activities is welcome. I emphasize the word ‘safe’,” Berreman said Wednesday.

She continued: “Visits to the beach need to have a new normal: only gathering with members of our immediate household; not gathering in groups of more than 10 people; not sharing potluck food and drinks; and keeping a distance of 6 feet from people who are not part of our immediate household. Within those safe practices, a day at the beach will be a welcome change for many of us.”

Even though Emergency Rule No. 8 reopens the beaches and relaxes restrictions, Kawakami said he’s not encouraging people to hold potlucks or barbecue on the beach.

A county spokesperson clarified that part of the rule on Wednesday, saying “As we know that sharing food with people you don’t live with increases risk of spreading the virus.”

Additionally, Mayor Kawakami announced Emergency Rule 9 Wednesday, which extends the mandatory quarantine for incoming travelers through June 30.

According to the county, those traveling for health care purposes, as long as they wear appropriate protective gear and keep social distance, are exempt from the quarantine. Those traveling to perform critical infrastructure work, as identified in the Governor’s proclamation, are still subject to the quarantine, but are allowed to break quarantine only to perform those essential work functions.

“We have taken temporary control over the coronavirus with our aggressive restrictions, and we feel we can begin to ease them in a responsible manner,” said Mayor Kawakami. “That said, the risk of the virus returning is most clearly associated with incoming travelers, whether residents or visitors, so we feel it is necessary to extend the mandatory quarantine.”

“In order for us to continue to reopen our businesses and activities while keeping each other safe, we all must exercise self-discipline to follow CDC guidelines of social distancing, wearing masks, washing hands and cleaning surfaces often,” urged Mayor Kawakami.

As a reminder, all individuals in the State of Hawai‘i are subject to Governor Ige’s emergency proclamations and Safer at Home order.

View the Gov. Ige’s proclamations and the Mayor Kawakami’s emergency rules: www.kauai.gov/COVID-19.

  1. Moreinfoplease May 14, 2020 4:28 am Reply

    It would be great if we could see an investigative story on what exactly the county is doing to prepare for when the virus re-emerges. It will, and we need a plan. How is the hospital preparing? Will we have our own team of contact tracers? How long before we have access to testing?

  2. Dude May 14, 2020 6:17 am Reply

    THIS IS NUTS! Government takes away my Constitutional rights then gives me a fraction of them back and I am supposed to be grateful!? 1776!

    1. Dud May 14, 2020 12:56 pm Reply

      Yes, be grateful you’re still living!

      1. Dude May 14, 2020 8:20 pm Reply

        Live free or die Dud!

      2. Dude May 15, 2020 6:02 am Reply

        Stockholm Syndrome

    2. manongindashadow0711 May 14, 2020 3:43 pm Reply

      With your attitude….maybe you should be locked up and in solitary confinement! Then you’ll learn to appreciate what is given for now.


      1. billyjoebob May 15, 2020 1:07 pm Reply

        Probably a litterbug too, eh?

  3. rk669 May 14, 2020 6:48 am Reply

    Maybe now the Crime Rate and Suicides will get back to Normal?

  4. Kauaidoug May 14, 2020 8:50 am Reply


  5. Baba Babooze May 14, 2020 12:45 pm Reply


    January, February, Lockdown, December…

  6. John sienna May 14, 2020 1:11 pm Reply

    The reality is, no matter what the mayor does, Covid 19 will make it to kauai eventually. I travel frequently to kauai, three to four times per year and at some point, those of us that own property in Kauai will need to attend to them at some point. Of course we don’t want it here but there is no way to stop it until a vaccine is made available. That could take years, so Mr. Mayor, are you really going to bankrupt all the businesses that rely on travel? Responsible reopening is the only solution, not just for Hawaii, the entire country. The government has already trampled on our constitutional rights as it is.

    1. manongindashadow0711 May 14, 2020 3:57 pm Reply


    2. ok jhon May 14, 2020 7:48 pm Reply

      you shouldn’t own property here if you don’t live here.

      1. John sienna May 15, 2020 1:41 pm Reply

        Please explain to me where it says I should live somewhere just because I own property there. Which communist country are you from? We support the local community a ton, we respect the culture and the locals. We are not being crybabies, the overreach of the government is nationwide not just in kauai.

      2. Lola dog May 15, 2020 4:26 pm Reply

        So, you shouldn’t live here if you don’t own property here?

  7. Bulaea May 14, 2020 2:20 pm Reply

    Hoorah! finally locals can use the beaches. Let’s open local businesses also. And lets keep visitors out for good. I actually like the way things are right now, quite and no heavy traffic created by visitors who are reckless drivers.

    1. James pulani May 14, 2020 5:41 pm Reply

      I suppose you didn’t study basic economics in school. Keep visitors off kauai??? watch what happens to us in a years time. Our island will be poorer than most third world countries. Wake up already.

  8. little TEX May 14, 2020 7:44 pm Reply

    Yes Mayor, your logic is undeniable. Be sure your uplink is on b4 you power down tonight Kuaui. . . . Sonny

  9. Liz May 15, 2020 7:27 am Reply

    Agreed! We need to be open and stop this government overreach

  10. seane tahamba May 15, 2020 7:32 am Reply

    Visitors pay a large portion of the taxes that support Kauai No visitors no money for government or public jobs unless Kauai raise all taxes on residents. Costco will leave due to slow sales and all supplies will cost more. So if you stop tourism you will have 60 percent unemployment and when no one works you loss more tax money. I live in Kauai and San Diego I go back and forth both have been home for over 40 years but its tough now with the 14day quarantine. Kauai and its people are beautiful but you cant isolate and survive in this modern world. It takes capital to support having water. electricity, police, fire, hospitals, food etc. Hopefully Kauai can come to terms with these times and adapt before self imploding. kuʻu aloha for Kauai.

  11. KauaiFarmMan May 15, 2020 8:57 pm Reply

    This is a hoax. Great idea keep away tourists and let’s all go bankrupt. Where do you think all the taxes come from that pay for all your foodstamps and schools. This virus is no deadlier then the flu. San Diego health department head reported today that 6 out of 198 deaths were solely covid. Meaning 192 deaths were caused by serious illnesses that already were killing these people. This lock down is a violation of our freedom. You’ll all be happy when we are full fledged slaves to the welfare state. Way to go cowards!

  12. Richard Saunders May 16, 2020 5:59 am Reply

    Some people here need to read up on constitutional rights and what that means. Because they have no clue. Making rules and laws do not violate a selfish person’s constitutional rights. I don’t rant about my rights when I see a speed limit sign.

  13. Kauaidoug May 16, 2020 8:04 am Reply

    It is obvious we need to have some sort of state wide discussion on the return of tourism and how it will look. Besides tourism we need to, IMO , start limiting the cars being brought here by people moving here. Leave your car on the mainland. Buy a car already here I’m in the tourism business and out of work but I think we should really rethink id chasing the almighty tourist dollar is the way to go into the future. Many of us move here and get caught in the treadmill we were trying to escape! So, let’s rethink how and how many people we invite to our beautiful island and keep it the paradise we all love.
    When I give my tours I tell people one of the terrible truths of the island is that oftentimes local young people sometimes go the mainland to support themselves and their new families. To me that is very sad. Lucky live Kaua’i!

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