Kauai Mayor Derek Kawakami wants to reopen a variety of “medium risk” businesses and activities on the Garden Isle on Friday — about two weeks ahead of schedule.

Kawakami is seeking Gov. David Ige’s approval to allow providers of one-on-one services to get back to work, including tutors, fitness trainers, hair stylists and nail technicians. He also wants to reopen public swimming pools, religious services; zipline, ATV and horseback tours; housekeeping; manufacturing and construction.

On Monday, Ige unveiled a four-phase plan for reopening Hawaii’s economy, announcing that “medium risk” businesses and activities would be allowed to operate starting sometime in early June.

But Kawakami said he’s confident that Kauai can relaunch these activities sooner because there have been no known coronavirus infections on the Garden Isle for more than five weeks.

“We are supportive of the governor’s phased reopening plan for the state,” Kawakami said at a press conference Tuesday. “But as we’ve said all along Kauai is unique and … our team is confident that we can reopen several businesses and activities two weeks earlier.”

All activities would need to practice social distancing and follow new health and safety guidelines by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Hawaii Department of Health.

Something to consider...

Civil Beat is a small, independent newsroom that provides free content with no paywall. That means readership growth alone can’t sustain our journalism.

The truth is that less than 2% of our monthly readers are financial supporters. To remain a viable business model for local news, we need a higher percentage of readers-turned-donors.

Will you consider making a tax-deductible gift today?

About the Author