Residents and visitors are wary of closures of outdoor spaces

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As Hawaii County waits for Governor David Ige to approve new restrictions proposed by Mayor Mitch Roth to slow the current wave of COVID, residents and tourists have expressed concern over some of the suggestions.

While an informal survey of those who walk on a Saturday afternoon does not in any way represent a scientific poll, distrust of the closure of public spaces seems to be forming a consensus among those who wish to give their opinion. Even many of those who favored tougher rules wondered why beaches and parks might be closed.

“Outside, where is there really no threat of contracting the virus? Asked Jessica Atkins, a visitor from Oregon. “You are out in the sun in the fresh air. It seems crazy to me. Completely crazy. Please don’t do this.

“I’m not sure how I feel about the outside restrictions, given what the CDC has recommended,” added another visitor Nelson Dupre from Massachusetts. “Inside, I understand.”

The sentiment was also shared by a handful of Big Island residents and parents.

“If you can sit in a restaurant, take off your mask and eat, kids, why do they have to wear it all day at school? Asked Taj Johnson, a relative from Keauhou. “It makes it all the more difficult to take the children to the park, to the beach. Healthy outdoor activities. Why would you restrict healthy outdoor activities? “

A handful of softball players, who chose not to be named, all agreed that they would prefer the parks and beaches to remain open. While Anthony Thue, a relatively new resident of the Big Island, was for restrictions if they were in everyone’s best interests, he acknowledged that they would likely have less of an impact on him than many others. .

“I can still work; I can always sit outside on the veranda, ”he said. “It can affect other people, and other people are going to have more negative reactions.”

Many tourists to Kailua Village have wondered how the rest of their vacation will turn out with beaches suddenly being declared off-limits.

“For us, one of the big draws coming to Hawaii is going to the beaches,” said Nick Hudson. “It would be disappointing not to be able to go. “

Approval of the restrictions proposed by Roth is expected to come from Ige this week.


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