Most Businesses and Services Can Reopen
By Catherine Cluett Pactol
Most businesses and services on Molokai and around the county are now allowed to reopen. Mayor Michael Victorino announced last week that as of June 1, dine-in restaurants, fitness and recreational facilities, massage therapists and other personal services can accept customers. Officials say social distancing, wearing of masks and sanitation practices must continue, along with health and safety modifications in some cases.
“We are reopening Maui County cautiously and safely,” Victorino said. “While new COVID-19 cases continue to remain low, everyone needs to do their part to follow social distancing and sanitization practices, so we can maintain the good position we’re in today.”
The original date for dine-in restaurants reopening was June 5, but that date was moved up.
In addition to businesses, playgrounds and skateparks reopened June 1. The county Cooke Memorial Pool in Kaunakakai is also now open for lap swimming only, with reser-vations required by calling (808) 270-6116. Reservations will only be taken from 8 a.m. to noon, daily, on a first-come-first-served basis and walk-ups are not allowed. Face cover-ings are required when not in the pool, and social distancing must be followed. Swim-mers must take a soap shower before entering the pool using outdoor showers. Only one swimmer per lane, except for swimmers with ADA therapeutic aides.
In-person religious services were permitted to resume May 29. All attendees must maintain six foot distance and usage of masks is strongly encouraged, along with sanitation measures. Choirs, though not required to wear masks, must keep 10 feet between members.
State restrictions for beach activities include a mandate for all groups to be limited to a single, family unit, and no family group exceeding 10 people. Everyone not part of same family unit must stay at least six feet apart.
Bars, public gathering venues, county community centers and county gyms remain closed at this time. Gatherings of more than 10 people are still prohibited. Organized and contact sports are not allowed on beaches and camping and the use of grills at county parks and beach parks is still prohibited as well.
“As we move forward, we will need the public’s assistance to prevent a second wave of COVID-19,” Mayor Victorino said. “We do not want to cancel or delay our reopening, but we will always need to make decisions based on the protection of our people – especially our keiki and ku-puna.”
Last week, Victorino wrote a letter to Gov. David Ige encouraging him to lift the interisland travel quarantine on June 15. Victorino said allowing travel between islands would allow local airports the opportunity to enhance policies and procedures necessary for safe travel and test equipment for screening arriving and departing passengers before transpacific travel reopens in the future.
“Furthermore, this will provide our community with a sense of normalcy, especially for those with family and friends on neighbor islands,” wrote Victorino. “Our residents have been restricted from traveling for over two months. Allowing them to travel is the start of economic recovery and the ‘new normal.’”
State officials have said they are continuing to weigh the timing of reopening interisland travel without quarantine requirements.