In one of the most sweeping efforts yet in Hawaii aimed at stopping the spread of the coronavirus, Kauai’s mayor has instituted a nighttime curfew indefinitely, Hawaii News Now has reported.
Mayor Derek Kawakami said the island-wide curfew begins Friday, and will be in effect from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Everyone on Kauai must remain in their homes during those times, he said.
He said the curfew, which he’s implementing under an emergency rule, is meant to increase social distancing and ensure that essential services will continue.
“After taking an assessment of what will likely be a very long journey for all of us and the amount of limited resources that we have … we must take bold steps to ensure that our public safety officials, first responders, and healthcare workers have the necessary environment in which to keep us all safe.”
The curfew is the first instituted in the islands amid the coronavirus pandemic.
On Oahu, city officials have closed down venues and urged people to stay at home. On the Big Island, the mayor said the decision on whether to close up shop will be left to businesses.
And the governor has urged visitors to stay away, said large events should be canceled, and told bars to close. Also Wednesday, the state Education Department announced it was closing public schools through at least April 6.
And Kawakami urged the vacation industry not to market Kauai as a place to visit until the threat is gone.
“We understand that these measures will result in hardships for many of our business owners and residents,” he said. “But the longer it takes us to make these drastic decisions, the longer it will take us to get to a point of economic recovery. ”