Local residents will be able to visit Hanauma Bay without reservations starting Wednesday as part of a two-week pilot program, the city said.

The initiative will run through Aug. 8 to allow officials to measure the traffic and determine if the total number of people coming to the bay remains manageable, according to a press release. It also applies to active duty service members who are stationed in Hawaii and have a military ID.

Honolulu began a reservation system in April in a bid to control the large number of visitors to the park, which reopened in December after months of closure to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

But it has proven difficult to book a spot at one of Hawaii’s most popular tourist destinations. Visitors must make reservations two days prior to their preferred date, starting at 7 a.m.

“Although we have seen a slight uptick in the percentage of local residents enjoying Hanauma Bay compared to pre-pandemic numbers, we want to make this natural treasure even more available to kamaaina,” said Laura Thielen, director of the Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation.

“While we are inviting more local residents to enjoy the bay, we are also reminding everyone that the capacity of preserve facilities, such as the parking lot and educational theater, have not changed,” she added.

The pilot program was designed to determine crowd levels before and after schools are in session, as the new academic year begins on Tuesday. Officials promised to use the data from the program to “adjust entry practices and continue system improvements.”

The park opens at 6:45 a.m. and is closed on Mondays and Tuesday. Local residents must show a valid photo ID to prove residency. Out-of-state visitors must still make reservations online.

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