Banners in Waikiki will remind visitors and residents to be COVID-safe

Banners in Waikiki will remind visitors and residents to be COVID-safe

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The tourism industry is trying a new way to get people to take the pandemic seriously ― with new signs across Waikiki.

And the public health campaign isn’t just aimed at visitors.

Thirty-six signs now line Kalakaua Avenue reminding everyone who spends time in the state’s top tourist destination of the three Ws: Wear a mask, watch your distance and wash your hands.

“It’s a joint effort,” said HPD Deputy Chief John McCarthy. “It’s everybody.”

McCarthy says while problems with compliance aren’t as common as they used to be, the signs will aid in enforcement.

“The banners as you guys see will help us do our job,” he said. “We want to gain compliance. We don’t want to be the bad guys arresting everyone or citing everyone.”

Officers aren’t the only ones excited to have the new tool in their arsenal. Officials with the Waikiki Business Improvement District say it will help Aloha Ambassadors, too.

“Our role in this is to reinforce those laws and restrictions,” said Jennifer Nakayama, district president and executive director.

“We can point up at the banner and really designate the importance of the three W’s.”

City Councilman Tommy Waters says he looks at the mask mandate as our way of spreading Aloha rather than spreading germs.

“You say ‘aloha’ to someone when you actually wear your mask,” he said.

The signs cost $9,000. Officials confirmed two-thirds of that was paid for through CARES funding. Taxpayers covered the rest.

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