• Hawaiʻi State Senate

Mayor Kawakami announces new emergency rules in light of recent spike in cases statewide

Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami’s announces new and amended emergency rules in light of the recent spike in cases across the state. Gov. David Ige has authorized Mayor Kawakami to amend Emergency Rule 13, relating to gatherings, and Rule 6, relating to masks. Additionally, Mayor Kawakami announced new Emergency Rule 14, relating to long-term use of Transient Vacation Rentals (TVRs).

Amended Emergency Rule 6 requires that all persons age five and older wear some form of cloth face coverings over their nose and mouth – whether indoors or outdoors – whenever they are with anyone not in their immediate household. There are limited exceptions to this rule, such as while eating or drinking, entering a financial institution, interacting with someone who may rely on lip reading for communication, or when exercising outdoors if physical distancing of at least six feet can be maintained. A person who is unable to wear a mask due to a medical condition or disability must have a medical exemption provided by a medical doctor, advanced practice registered nurse, or doctor of osteopathy. Medical exemptions should not specify the medical condition that precludes the wearing of face coverings.

Amended Emergency Rule 13 further restricts indoor gatherings as several recent clusters have been tied to social events. The highest risk of disease transmission occurs while indoors, so indoor gatherings are now limited to a maximum of 10 people. If people must gather they should do so outside. Outdoor gatherings remain at a maximum limit of 100 people. Mask wearing, physical distancing and other CDC guidelines must be maintained during all gatherings. Emergency Rule 13 applies to casual, social gatherings only and does not apply to allowable businesses, operations, or activities.

Some transient visitors are stating that they are new residents in an attempt to avoid quarantining at a hotel, as currently required. Irresponsible transient vacation rental operators are creating six month leases, with separate agreements to break the leases early to accommodate transient visitors.

Officials have noticed that multiple “new residents” are producing long-term leases at the same address. Emergency Rule 14 addresses this loophole by stating that no transient vacation rental or homestay, as defined by the Kaua‘i County Code, may be designated as a quarantine location for a new resident more than once in any six month period. The property owner, property manager, landlord, tenant, and guest shall each be responsible for ensuring compliance with this rule.

Any person violating any rule of the governor or mayor, if convicted, could face a fine of up to $5,000 or a serve up to a year in jail.

To view the Governor’s proclamations and the Mayor’s emergency rules, please visit the KEMA website, www.kauai.gov/COVID-19.

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