Kawakami Establishes Fine Amounts for Individuals, Businesses Breaking COVID Rules
Mayor Derek SK Kawakami issued a new emergency rule establishing fines of $250 for individuals and $500 for businesses and organizers for noncompliance with the State of Hawai‘i’s COVID safety rules.
“This new rule will allow for better enforcement of mask rules, gathering and capacity limits, and event requirements with fines instead of misdemeanor offenses,” Kawakami stated. “The highly contagious Delta variant is spreading through our community. We all need to follow the rules to slow the spread of this disease while our case counts are at a record high. Please avoid large gatherings this holiday weekend and in the weeks to come, for the health of our community.”
Kauaʻi Police Department Assistant Chief Mark Begley said establishing lesser offenses and penalties than a misdemeanor allows officers to more efficiently enforce the rules.
“We hope these fines will be a good deterrence as we work to slow the spread of COVID-19,” Begley said.
The new emergency rule implements authority granted by the State Legislature in response to the pandemic earlier this year in Act 185, which allowed for the implementation of alternative, lesser offenses and penalties than a misdemeanor to make enforcement more meaningful and efficient.
Mayor’s Emergency Rule #26 was approved by Gov. David Ige on Friday, Sept. 3, 2021. It creates a new set of emergency period infractions for noncompliance with the Governor’s Emergency Proclamation Related to the COVID-19 Response and the Governor’s Executive Order No. 21-05.
This rule establishes fines for individuals and entities that do not comply with statewide rules on:
- The wearing of face coverings.
- Indoor and outdoor gathering sizes.
- Guidelines for restaurants, bars, and social establishments.
- Notifying and consulting with the County in regard to professional events and following County. rules for those professional events.
- Restrictions on indoor capacity.
Mayor’s Emergency Rule #26 also grants the County’s liquor control investigators and park security officers the power to enforce this rule and issue notices of emergency period infractions, in addition to the KPD. Park security officers may also issue notices of parking-related traffic infractions.
Any individual violating the Governor’s Emergency Order on face coverings or on gatherings, restaurants, bars, and social establishments will be fined $250 for each infraction. Any owner/operator of a gym, restaurant, bar, or social establishment violating or not enforcing the Emergency Order will be fined $500 for each infraction.
Any professional organizer, social host, individual, or owner/operator of an entity organizing or hosting a gathering or event violating the Emergency Order will be fined $500.