New coronavirus restrictions prompt aquarium, museum closures on Oahu

The Waikiki Aquarium is back open after three months of being closed.
The Waikiki Aquarium is back open after three months of being closed.(Hawaii News Now/file)
Updated: Aug. 19, 2020 at 2:44 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Two popular Oahu attractions announced Wednesday that they were closing for at least a month because of new coronavirus restrictions on Oahu.

Officials with the Waikiki Aquarium say the closure there is indefinite, brought on by the new set of restrictions issued by Mayor Caldwell on Tuesday that forbid gatherings of more than 5 people and expand mask-wearing mandates.

“This was a difficult yet necessary decision,” said Dr. Andrew Rossiter, director of the Waikīkī Aquarium. “Owing to the COVID situation, the Aquarium is also in a perilous financial situation and we simply cannot sustain ourselves in this current environment.”

A spokesperson says all staff members who don’t actively maintain aquarium facilities or aren’t involved in day-to-day care of animals will go back to working from home.

The Honolulu Museum of Art, meanwhile, will close to in-person visits for at least 28 days ― the stated length of the mayor’s new order ― out of ‘an abundance of caution’ for members and employees.

Neither establishment was directly ordered to close as part of the new order, and both are electing to do so voluntarily given the current circumstances surrounding the pandemic.

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