Kawakami asks to reopen early

LIHU‘E — Mayor Derek Kawakami said Kaua‘i is aiming to reopen some businesses earlier than the timeline proposed Monday by Gov. David Ige, and his office is looking for the governor’s approval to do so.

If approved, it would mean businesses like salons and barbershops, tour companies and pools, could reopen on Friday — under specific conditions.

In a public address Tuesday, Kawakami indicated support for the recently announced “State Roadmap to Recovery and Resilience,” but Kawakami and his team would like to reopen several businesses and activities two weeks earlier than the governor’s timeline. That plan — outlined in the mayor’s emergency rule 10 — was sent over to Ige on Tuesday for approval.

If approved, mayor’s emergency rule 10 allows for the reopening of several businesses and activities on Friday, as long as Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and state Department of Health safe practices can be implemented and followed at all times.

Those businesses and activities include:

• Outdoor-based tours and guided experiences, such as, but not limited to, zipline operations, ATV tours, and horseback tours;

• Churches and faith-based worship;

• One-on-one services or lessons, such as tutoring, fitness and training;

• Salons and barbershops, including nail salons;

• All sanitation and cleaning, including housekeeping;

• All manufacturing or construction operations that may still be closed;

• Pools and common areas for residents and visitors who have successfully completed the mandatory quarantine.

“As we’ve said all along, Kaua‘i is unique,” said Kawakami Tuesday. “And based on our unique situation of no active cases for over five weeks here on Kaua‘i, our team is confident that we can reopen several businesses on Friday, May 22, for our Kaua‘i residents and those who have completed the mandatory quarantine.”

Under the potential new rule, all residents and visitors under the mandatory 14-day quarantine would not be allowed to leave their home or hotel room for the full extent of the 14 days, and any pools or common areas would be off-limits for those in quarantine.

Kawakami said his office is also working on drafting emergency rule 11, which will address the reopening of businesses not included in the proposed rule 10

11 Comments
  1. randy kansas May 20, 2020 5:10 am Reply

    thanks to all for working together !

    however we have to be mindful .. if we hit rule 99 or sooner…no economy and no jobs to go back to….unless you are one of the folks squawking all the time about staying closed, keep the invaders out, my nest is feathered, i’m special cause i moved here 20 years ago etc……. and are retired, has a trust fund or drawing a government check of some sort during all of this…


  2. kauaiboy May 20, 2020 6:33 am Reply

    “Outdoor-based tours and guided experiences, such as, but not limited to, zipline operations, ATV tours, and horseback tours”?????

    Does anyone know a lot of locals who have interest in participating in these activities?

    Seems to me that the purveyors of these activities will have difficulty drumming up business until tourists are welcomed back…

    What about bus tours? Boat tours? Will these be allowed as well?

    Is anyone in charge giving us ANY indication of when the quarantine for arriving passengers will be lifted? Anyone remotely involved in businesses that rely even in part on tourism need to hear the potential opening dates so that they can plan for the future.

    If Kauai will likely not lift the quarantine this summer, we should know, so that these kine businesses can begin getting their affairs in order for bankruptcy.


  3. WestsideResident May 20, 2020 6:56 am Reply

    A step in the right direction. Thank you.


    1. Khsgrad May 20, 2020 10:02 pm Reply

      Any leader who implements rules he cannot enforce is a very very ineffective leader….. Take note Mr. Dancing Dictator


  4. Kauaibest May 20, 2020 8:13 am Reply

    Trying to figure out why tour companies would open when there are hardly any people to cater to? I certainly can’t go back to my job of booking activities until the tourists return in large quantities!


  5. Gordo May 20, 2020 9:24 am Reply

    Tour companies can open?!?! Hahaha
    How bout restaurants??
    Zero cases=open up!!


  6. truth be known May 20, 2020 12:12 pm Reply

    Mayor Kawakami, thank you for initiating the obvious decision to reopen our Island to a similitude of normalcy. It remains to be seen if the Governor acquiesces to your request. If his answer is no I predict he will lose the vast majority of this island’s vote in the next election. It’s time to get on with our lives and stop living in fear. The livelihood of too many people on our island is at stake.


    1. Tooindependent May 20, 2020 2:55 pm Reply

      I believe There is no election for him again


  7. Lee May 20, 2020 6:37 pm Reply

    Restaurants may get locals but not horses or zip lines, 5 weeks!!! What does it take? This is not OAhu, You may think it’s funny to shut down everything but I’m sure you’d like going to Walmart, Home Depot and Costco. Without tourist none of those will exist


  8. Khsgrad May 20, 2020 10:06 pm Reply

    Who cares about elections here??? You’all vote for Democrat number one or two- AND they are all identical:they sell the people ocean front property in Arizona – with feel good statements about looking out for Kekei and Kupuna and stopping urban sprawl while Hawaiians live in poverty and Marks Zuckerberg buys up entire coast lines….. they have sold out the islands to the rich and made themselves and their families rich doing it……


  9. kauaidoug May 21, 2020 8:06 am Reply

    What a high wire act period we are in now. I am in the tourism industry and I so desperately need to figure out what to do with my small business but I don’t have a crystal ball! Who does?
    The only crystal ball I see are the scientists who have studied pandemics and outbreaks of virulent diseases in the past but some people refuse to believe them. Just like everyone else I need to plan but what I(and Kauai) decide on is determined by this disease. Looks to me by end of June things will be good here but what about the rest of the world?
    But, do you want to wait on, give information to, help someone strap into a zipline or ride a horse if you are not reasonably sure they are not sick? What if there is this second wave later in the yearand the world goes into lockdown and you are forced to refund bookings,,, again?
    Business planning is hard enough but with covid19 who knows. We have to take the best information available and make what could be life changing decisions. Just like the Mayor.


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