Hawaii quarantine rules begin for incoming travelers, returning residents

A noticeably empty airport marks day 1 of Hawaii’s travel quarantine rules

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The state’s mandatory 14-day quarantine for visitors and returning residents went into effect Thursday, but it wasn’t immediately clear how many entered the state under the order.

Edward Bron III got back to Hawaii from Alaska, and will quarantine as part of the mandate.

“I think it’s very important. I have elderly at my home, and I don’t want to affect them," Bron said.

“I think everyone needs to take it seriously.”

Bron says he was handed a form to fill out stating where he was staying and it was verified by his ID.

Transportation officials said after the form is submitted and those arriving get where they need to be, random phone calls may be conducted to ensure they are still in quarantine.

On Tuesday, the state counted 4,131 arrivals.

State officials say quarantined passengers can still take ride-share or taxis to their designated quarantine areas and they will be checked on by phone call periodically.

Uber and Lyft driver Vincent Ward says the Honolulu airport on the first day of the mandatory quarantine was empty. “I went to the airport today for two hours. I was 35 of 40 cars. And two hours later, I was still 35 of 40 cars. So that’s when I decided to leave the airport," he said.

Ward was a limo driver for 25 years. Because of coronavirus, he is now solely an Uber, Lyft and delivery driver.

He wears a mask and gloves daily and santizes after every passenger.

“I’m taking care of my 84-year-old mother and the last thing I want to do is bring anything home to her, so yeah I’m taking precaution and extra precaution,” he added.

Some hotel workers are worried it’s not enough enforcement.

“We can say, ‘Don’t go to this particular rocky area because it’s dangerous.’ They don’t listen. And if people are going to be spending even a few hundred dollars to get here, I really don’t truly believe they can the intent of staying in their room," said Debbie, a hotel worker on Maui.

The mandatory quarantine is in effect indefinitely and anyone who goes against it can face a $5,000 fine and one year in jail.

Copyright 2020 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.