(BIVN) – The Maunakea Visitor Information Station (VIS) at Halepōhaku on Hawaiʻi Island will resume operations starting Thursday, July 15.
The VIS has been closed since March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a news release from the University of Hawaiʻi, VIS staff have “installed safety barriers and will implement proper social distancing that adheres to local, state and federal guidelines.”
Hours, in effect until further notice, will be from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day. Officials encourage everyone to “follow health department recommendations on social distancing and protection while visiting Maunakea.”
“Our goal is to educate the visitors on the cultural importance of the mountain,” said Rodrigo Romo, newly appointed VIS manager. “We need to make sure visitors know how to behave on the mountain and approach it with the respect it deserves.”
Romo recently served as Program Director for PISCES, the Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems. The Hilo-based aerospace agency closed its doors after it was defunded following the Hawaiʻi State Legislative session.
The University added that the Center for Maunakea Stewardship (CMS) “has completed parking lot and traffic flow improvements to ensure parking and vehicle pull-outs are on the same side of the road as VIS. This helps to provide safe public access as required by the Maunakea Comprehensive Management Plan.”