Hawaii Parks: City & County Closes Parks on Oahu

Hawaii Parks: City & County Closes Parks on Oahu

The City & County of Honolulu announced today at a virtual press conference that as of tomorrow, Thursday, March 19, 2020, all city & county parks will be closed on the island of Oahu in Hawaii.

Beaches will remain open. This can be a bit confusing since many of the parks are connected to a beach, like Ala Moana Beach Park. This park is located just outside Waikiki across the yacht harbor and across from tourist shopping destination Ala Moana Shopping Center. Ala Moana Beach Park is also close to the famous Hilton Hawaiian Village resort where so many tourists want to stay for its diverse and sprawling activities and venues.

So, what does this mean? Perhaps that you can sit in the sand on the beach but not on the grass in the park? What if you have to cross the park to get to the beach?

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell today announced further action to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus in response to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) latest guidance related to mass gatherings. The CDC now recommends that organizers of large events cancel or postpone in-person events that consists of 10 or more people throughout the United States.

The City and County of Honolulu will follow the CDC’s most recent large gathering recommendation by prohibiting assemblies of 10 or more people at City facilities until the end of April. This supersedes the press release sent out earlier this week. These closures will be re-evaluated next month.

The City has also initiated a higher level of activation of the Emergency Operations Center.

During this time, the City and County of Honolulu remains open. Police, Fire, Emergency Medical Services and Ocean Safety first responders will continue normal operation to protect our community. The City will continue critical functions such as garbage pick-up, sewer service, and the services provided by the Board of Water Supply, satellite city halls, and the Department of Planning and Permitting.

Given the updated guidelines from the CDC, all City facilities will be closed to public gatherings through April 30. This includes the closure of the Neal S. Blaisdell Center, municipal golf courses, the Honolulu Zoo, City parks and outdoor park amenities including pools, courts, and fields, City gyms and indoor facilities, Honolulu Botanical Gardens, City camp sites, the Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, and the Koko Head Shooting Complex. This will also result in the suspension of classes, programs, and events both organized by the Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation or permitted to other organizations. This includes the 93rd Annual Lei Day Celebration.