Thousands of people hit Hawaii beaches for first holiday weekend without a mask warrant
WAIMEA BAY, Hawaii (KHON2) – COVID-19 cases during Memorial Day weekend are low in 2021 and social gatherings are still limited to 10 people in Oahu, as is Memorial Day weekend in 2020 .
Memorial Day weekend 2021 is the first holiday weekend without exterior mask warrant and this is the first time that health officials have not been so concerned about an increase in COVID-19 cases to follow.
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Oahu residents say it’s the first weekend things seem to be getting back to normal. Some say they can’t remember what they did for Memorial Day weekend in 2020.
“Honestly, I don’t remember because that probably meant we didn’t do anything,” said Chermane Stringfield, a Wahiawa resident, who celebrated her nephew’s first birthday at Kaiaka Beach Park in Haleiwa on Saturday the 29th. may.
“Honestly, I don’t even remember the last Memorial Day weekend,” Oahu resident Chelsea Davis said. “It’s just nice to be outside and start enjoying all the things Hawaii has to offer again.”
Thousands of residents and visitors have done just that and have filled with beaches and parks and celebrated more than just vacations, but being able to celebrate birthdays, graduations and more with loved ones again.
“We can actually get together with our family, what used to be the hardest thing in life here on Oahu is that we are all a family matter, so having that restriction lifted is really amazing,” Stringfield said. .
“And it’s nice to welcome everyone and spend time with everyone and not have to choose who we want to spend time with, so it’s very heartwarming,” she continued. .
The parking lots at Waimea Bay and Ala Moana Beach parks filled up early on Saturday morning
“We arrived at 9 am because we thought it would be the first weekend that everyone would like to feel a little more free, and I think everyone is ready to have a good time,” said said Sydnee Cummings, a resident of Oahu.
Health officials are not as concerned about an increase in the number of cases as they were in 2020 when there was no protection against the virus.
Many residents say they are delighted to be able to be outside again without a mask.
“You come here to Hawaii to be outside and enjoy the beaches and not have to worry about all the extra craziness like masks,” Davis said. “I know they’re there for safety, but it’s nice not to have to worry about that and just enjoy the weekend.”
Many have said that dropping the Outer Mask mandate was one more step towards normal.
“I really don’t think it’s ever going to be the same, honestly, but it definitely improves when it comes to being able to enjoy the freedoms of not having to leave without your mask, to be outside without your mask, or we have options. now; so it’s nice to have the option, ”she continued.
Some residents were seen with their masks still on the beach over the holiday weekend.