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Hawaii News

Waikiki Aquarium is reopening and offering free entry for health care workers

  • STAR-ADVERTISER / 2019
                                The Waikiki Aquarium will open on June 29, but medical professionals and their immediate families will be able to visit for free from Monday through June 28.

    STAR-ADVERTISER / 2019

    The Waikiki Aquarium will open on June 29, but medical professionals and their immediate families will be able to visit for free from Monday through June 28.

Having been closed since mid-March due to corona­virus health concerns and government stay-at-home restrictions, the Waikiki Aquarium will reopen to the public June 29.

But a week earlier it will reopen exclusively for Hawaii medical professionals and their immediate families, in a “Mahalo Medic” program providing them with free admission starting Monday through June 28.

“We are delighted to be opening our doors again,” said Andrew Rossiter, aquarium director, “but before we welcome everyone back, the aquarium wants to have this ‘Mahalo Medic’ week to thank our emergency medical workers, doctors and nurses not only for the sacrifices they have made and dangers they have faced to protect us all during this coronavirus crisis, but also for their dedicated service every day.”

As with other venues around town, the aquarium’s reopening will come with special restrictions.

Both free and paid admissions will require advance reservations and purchase via the aquarium’s website. There will also be a cap of 50 guests allowed in the aquarium for each one-hour reservation time slot.

“The health, safety and well-being of our guests, staff, volunteers and living collection of marine animals remains our top priority as we transition to this reopening phase,” Rossiter said.

Other health measures include the wearing of face masks at all times by everyone older than the age of 2 and social distancing of at least 6 feet between unrelated people throughout the aquarium. Hand sanitizer stations have been installed throughout the facility, and there will be clear acrylic barriers at the front desk and gift shop, where face masks will be available for purchase.

Custodial staff will wipe down and sanitize high-touch areas several times throughout the day, but exhibit touch screens, informational kiosks and other high- touch technologies will be decommissioned until further notice, the release said.

“By implementing a variety of safety precautions and initiatives, we’re confident that we can welcome the community to once again explore the majestic wonders at the aquarium in a safe and enjoyable way,” Rossiter said.

Medical workers can reserve their free tickets and admission time at waikiki aquarium.org/mahalomedic.

For more information, call 923-9741 or visit waikiki aquarium.org/visit/hours/.

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