Travelers visiting Hawaii are continuing to defy the state’s mandatory self-isolation rule, issued on March 26 in an effort to stem the spread of CCP virus, commonly referred to as the novel coronavirus.
Hawaii, which has reported 638 cases and 17 deaths, was the first state in the United States to implement a traveler self-quarantine order requiring visitors to the islands to self-quarantine for 14 days, without leaving their hotel room or residence.
Visitors are also required to initial and sign a legal document acknowledging that violating the quarantine is a criminal offense punishable by a $5,000 fine and up to a year in prison, according to the state’s transportation department.
Despite this, some travelers, including a newlywed couple on their honeymoon, are continuing to flout the quarantine rules and have subsequently been arrested. As of May 8, 2020, the Honolulu Police Department had made four arrests, Kauai Police Department made five, Maui Police Department made two, and the State of Hawaii Department of the Attorney General has issued eight arrests.
On May 15, authorities in Oahu arrested a tourist from New York for violating the state’s mandatory 14-day quarantine rule.
Tarique Peters, a Bronx resident, was taken into custody by special agents of the Hawaii state Department of the Attorney General for the violation and “unsworn falsification to authority,” the governor’s office said in a statement.
The 23-year-old had arrived on Oahu on May 11 before posting a number of photos from his trip on Instagram, the governor’s office said, adding that he had allegedly left his hotel room the day he arrived and traveled to many places using public transportation. His bail has been set at $4,000.
Last month, a newlywed California couple were also arrested for failing to adhere to the self-isolation rules, despite being aware of them when they arrived at a hotel in Waikiki, Honolulu.
Borice Leouskiy, 20, and Yuliia Andreichenko, 26, from Citrus Heights, California, were reportedly apprised of the requirements of the self-quarantine order by a front desk manager at the hotel, but the couple said the rules contradicted what they were told by officials at the airport, according to local reports.
The couple allegedly told hotel staff they planned to visit friends and beaches during their stay, before leaving the premises and returning after midnight with a pizza, telling the hotel manager they were allowed to leave to buy food.
Staff rang the authorities after Leouskiy and Andreichenko left the hotel again the following day, and they were arrested on April 30 on charges of unsworn falsification to authority and violation of the 14-day quarantine.
There are currently very few incoming flights to Hawaii. On May 15, 996 people arrived in Hawaii, including 286 visitors and 333 residents, according to the state’s tourism board. During this same time last year, nearly 30,000 passengers arrived in Hawaii daily, including residents and visitors.
As some parts of Hawaii slowly move to reopen, Ocean Safety lifeguards on May 16 said they rescued 266 people across Oahu as beaches, outdoor courts, and playing fields officially opened nearly two months after city and state orders closed them in late March.
Although more public recreation sites are now open, they are subject to COVID-19 restrictions mandating that group size cannot exceed 10 people, while individuals who are not from the same household must comply with social distancing requirements. The beach or sand area may also only be used one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset, unless the person is engaged in shore fishing or permitted outdoor exercise.