People on Oahu will be required to wear face masks in a greater range of settings starting Friday.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced the amendment to his emergency order at a press conference on Thursday. 

In April, Caldwell mandated the use of masks on public transit and in businesses open to the public — with the exception of certain financial institutions. This amendment extends those requirements to private businesses and crowded outdoor spaces as well. 

Face masks will be required in private offices when people aren’t working alone or sitting at a desk. They will also be required in outdoor spaces that have a lot of foot traffic — such as crowded sidewalks or in lines outside of stores.

“I know wearing a face covering can be a bit inconvenient and take some time getting used to, but think about who you’re trying to protect,” Caldwell said in a press release.

The exceptions to the amendment still include financial institutions and ATMs. Masks are not required for outdoor exercises like jogging. People with medical conditions that prevent the use of masks, first responders and children under 5 years old are also exempt.

People with medical conditions who cannot wear face masks are advised to wear a face shield instead. Face shields are not compliant with the new regulations unless they are being used by those unable to wear face masks. 

In April, Kauai mandated the use of masks in public at all times for everyone over the age of 5.

“We can continue to celebrate life in the best place in the world, but we need to do it with care and caution until we have a vaccine for COVID-19,” Caldwell said.

Help power our public service journalism

As a local newsroom, Civil Beat has a unique public service role in times of crisis.

That’s why we’re committed to a paywall-free website and subscription-free content, so we can get vital information out to everyone, from all communities.

We are deploying a significant amount of our resources to covering the Maui fires, and your support ensures that we can pivot when these types of emergencies arise.

Make a gift to Civil Beat today and help power our nonprofit newsroom.

About the Author