HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The state’s mandatory 14-day quarantine for inter-island travelers is now in effect as restrictions widen in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
At Honolulu’s airport on Wednesday morning, a handful of mostly essential workers were hopping onto inter-island flights or getting off of them.
Kevin Page works in communication — an essential activity — and said he’ll continue to do his job but take more precautions along the way.
“We just want to be respectful of everything,” he said, adding that when he flew to Maui last week there were just 10 people on the flight. “That was the first time I had seen it and today is less people.”
The broader quarantine measures, which went into effect at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, are similar to the 14-day quarantine imposed last week for all travelers from mainland and international destinations.
But the state stressed Tuesday that those carrying out essential functions are exempt.
Essential activities include getting medical care — or delivering it. On Tuesday night, Maui Mayor Mike Victorino also offered additional clarification, saying that essential workers included:
- Infrastructure personnel
- Construction workers
- Law enforcement or first responders
- Emergency management personnel
- Health care providers
- Agricultural workers
- Maintenance service providers
- Media and communications personnel
Those who must travel will have to fill out an Interisland Declaration Form, providing their name, address, telephone number, destination and purpose of travel.
Travelers are also asked to wear protective gear, including masks, and follow social distancing guidelines.
Those who aren’t performing essential functions must go into quarantine immediately after arriving.
But those who are performing essential functions also have restrictions; they’re not allowed to visit any public spaces or visit friends. Instead, they’re asked to stay at a residence or their lodging.
Once they’ve returned to their home island, they must adhere to the state’s stay-at-home order.
Violators of the quarantine face a $5,000 fine and even jail time.
In announcing the expanded quarantine, Gov. David Ige said the “unprecedented times” demand unprecedented measures.
“In order to protect the health and safety of Hawaii’s people, I along with the county mayors have had to take drastic measures in order to stop the spread of COVID-19," he said.
This story will be updated.