Big Island Coronavirus Updates

Big Island Bars, Public Pools Get Nod to Reopen

June 25, 2020, 4:14 PM HST
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Big Island Brewhaus beer sampler. Courtesy image.

Hawai‘i County bars and public pools can begin to reopen Thursday. Camping sites will open gradually in the coming weeks and outdoor organized sports will begin restarting in phases.

Mayor Harry Kim issued an Emergency Rule Thursday that reopened the establishments, however, nightclubs, large indoor and outdoor venues such as concerts and conventions, and road races such as marathons will remain closed.

Under the Rule, bars may reopen, with safety requirements identical to restaurants, with some added safety measures:

  • Limit groups within the bar to a maximum of 10 individuals per group.
  • Ensure groups within the bar maintain at least six feet of separation from other groups.
  • Prohibit groups within the bar from intermingling.
  • Designate areas to separate groups at least six feet apart from each other. (E.g., through ropes or other physical separation for standing areas, or the seating of guests at separate tables, or both).
  • Require all employees that interact with the public wear face coverings.
  • Ensure all customers wear face coverings when entering and leaving the bar, but allow customers to remove the face covering while in the bar.

Exhibit 2 of the Rule deals with County Parks and Recreational Facilities. New provisions include the opening of more county park and recreational facilities and activities, including swimming pools beginning July 13, camping beginning July 13 and Aug. 1, and outdoor organized team sports in phases beginning June 26 and July 20, respectively.

Swimming pools may reopen on or after Monday, July 13, 2020, with modified days/hours of operations and modified rules in effect as established by the Director of Parks and Recreation.


Camping is permitted subject to modified rules and these conditions. The following campsites will be open for use beginning Monday, July 13, 2020:

  • Gilbert Kahele Recreation Area
  • Spencer Park at ‘Ōhai‘ula Beach
  • Kohanaiki Beach Park

The following campsites will be open for use beginning Saturday, Aug. 1, 2020:

  • Laupāhoehoe Pt. Beach Park
  • Kapa‘a Beach Park
  • Māhukona Beach Park
  • Ho‘okena Beach Park
  • Punalu‘u Beach Park
  • Whittington Beach Park

All other campsites remain closed until further notice unless the use is specifically approved by the Director of Parks and Recreation.

All campers shall be responsible to disinfect/sanitize all common contact surfaces (such as grills, picnic tables, water faucets, restroom fixtures, showers, etc.) prior to and immediately following each person’s use.


All campers shall provide their own disinfecting/sanitizing supplies and accessories necessary to comply with the preceding requirement and as required to maintain their individual health and safety.

All tents/canopies belonging to campers from the same group shall be separated by a minimum of 10 feet. All tents/canopies belonging to separate groups of campers shall be separated by not less than 20 feet.

Outdoor organized team sports such as baseball, softball, soccer, futsal, football (tackle, flag, or touch), rugby, volleyball, basketball and similar sports that are customarily and traditionally played at outdoor venues (hereinafter “sports program(s)”) are permitted to resume operations as follows:

Phase 1: Effective immediately, sports programs may resume operations limited to sports conditioning, individual skill development and controlled group situational drills (hereinafter collectively “practice(s)”) for participants and coaches under the following conditions and requirements:

  • Physical distancing of not less than six feet between individuals shall always be maintained to the maximum extent practicable.
  • Groups are limited to a maximum of 35 individuals (including athletes, coaches, managers, staff, etc. required to successfully implement a practice session) from a single sports program. This is a specific exception from the rule limiting groups to 10 persons at an outdoor gathering.
  • Where multiple sports programs are present at the same facility, not less than 20 feet of separation shall always be maintained between separate sports programs. The mingling of individuals between sports programs shall not be permitted.

Phase 2: effective Monday, July 20, 2020, Sports Programs may resume full regimen practices and scrimmages (hereinafter collectively “Training”) and competitive play under the following conditions and requirements:

  • Excluded from this section are outdoor sports and similar activities that require sustained close contact, such as football, rugby, basketball, boxing, wrestling, martial arts, mixed martial arts, etc. These close contact sports may continue under Phase I (above).
  • Competitive play shall be limited to one sports program competing against another sports program (e.g., one baseball team playing against another). This is a specific exception from the rule limiting groups to 10 persons at an outdoor gathering.
  • Groups are limited to two sports programs on a common outdoor sports field, court, etc. at the same time.
  • Where competitive play or training is scheduled in proximity to other competitive play or training, not less than 20 feet of physical separation shall always be maintained.
  • No mingling shall be allowed between members of separate sports programs.

For Phase 1 and Phase 2, Sports Program operators shall ensure that:

  • Physical distancing protocols and procedures exist, are communicated to and understood by athletes, coaches, managers, staff, scorekeepers/statisticians, and officials/referees/umpires (hereinafter collectively “participants”) and parents/guardians, family members, friends, supporters and spectators (hereinafter collectively “non-participants”).
  • Close contact engagements beyond those necessary to carry out Practices, Training and competitive play (e.g., huddles, high-fives, fist-bumps, post-game handshakes, team cheers, etc.) shall not be permitted.
  • Specific considerations are implemented and enforced pertinent to the configuration and controlling physical features of the sports venue relative to the athletic activity engaged in including, but not limited to, maintaining unhindered access to entrances/exits, controlling queues, identifying and accounting for bottlenecks, respecting maximum occupancy of venues and portions thereof, etc.

The following County of Hawai‘i parks and recreational facilities remain closed to the general public:

  • All community centers and senior centers
  • All gymnasiums and covered play court facilities
  • Aunty Sally Kaleohano’s Luau Hale
  • Francis F.C. Wong Stadium
  • Hakalau Beach Park
  • Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium
  • Honoka‘a Swimming Pool (ongoing construction)
  • NAS Swimming Pool (Hale Hanakahi emergency shelter facility)
  • Pana‘ewa Rainforest Zoo & Gardens (ongoing construction)
  • Shipman Gym
  • Waiākea Recreation Center
  • Edith Kanaka‘ole multipurpose stadium

Under the Mayor’s new Rule, the following businesses, operations and activities identified below shall remain closed:

  • Nightclubs
  • Large indoor venues (concerts, sports, conventions, expos)
  • Large outdoor venues (concerts, sports, conventions, expos)
  • Road races (marathons, triathlons, etc.)

Rule 9 takes effect on June 26, 2020, and shall continue through July 31, 2020, unless extended, rescinded, superseded, or amended by the Mayor’s subsequent order, or as otherwise provided by law.

To request no-cost assistance in providing a safe and healthy business for employees and customers, contact the COVID Task Force on Education and Prevention at 808-935-0031.


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