Honolulu Mayor urgent appeal to visitors on Oahu

Traveling to Waikiki? Outspoken Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell has an urgent message for you.

Caldwell told eTurboNews he will be meeting this afternoon with John de Fries, CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority , to push for some immediate implementations to inform tourists in Waikiki and the rest of the island of Oahu about.

Caldwell is frustrated and agreed with Rebuilding Travel Chairman Juergen Steinmetz that visitors should be fully informed prior to arriving and reminded again when arriving about restrictions in place. This includes mask requirements for Honolulu.

The Mayor told eTurboNews he was hoping HTA would take immediate steps and was also hoping for airlines, the airport, and hotels to join in, so visitors would not end up in court and in jail when not following strict mandated restrictions in place for the island. 

The Mayor pledged to personally hand out masks to visitors today to make a point. He also promised eTurboNews to ask the Hawaii Tourism Authority to be more responsive to eTurboNews and Hawaii News Online.

Yesterday, eTurboNews observed about 15-20% of all pedestrians on Waikiki’s Kalakaua Ave and Kubio Ave not wearing masks, and even at times social distancing was not occuring.

Honolulu Police dispatch was not aware of the exact mask requirements, and when calling Aloha United Way 211, there was no clear understanding either.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell in Waikiki

The Hawaii Visitors and Convention Center posted on the official visitors information site information on mask requirements. It states: Remember to pack your mask and/or facial coverings in your carry-on luggage. All visitors are required to wear a mask (allowances given for young children and those with health conditions) at all airports and until they are in their room in their confirmed place of lodging.

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There is no word about mask requirements in Waikiki. A second link to the Safe Travels Hawaii website has no information on mask requirements.

On the island of Kauai, some restaurants refuse to let visitors sit inside due to not having a second COVID-19 test requirement for arriving tourists. Visitors following relaxed mandates from their home state could end up in jail and in court when following the same rules in the Aloha State.

The Mayor said Police will first warn before an arrest. The Mayor wants visitors to have a good and safe time, and this includes following the law.

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