Here’s how the state is beefing up traveler quarantine measures

Here’s how the state is beefing up traveler quarantine measures
A Hawaii National Guard member is among hundreds to assist with screening passengers at airports amid the coronavirus pandemic. (Source: Hawaii News Now)

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The state announced new measures Saturday to ensure visitors to Hawaii are abiding by the mandatory 14-day quarantine.

One of those measures is enhanced screening to be done when visitors get off the plane at airports.

All arriving passengers are now required to have their temperature checked.

If they aren’t showing signs of fever, they will be allowed to proceed onto the next step of the screening process. If they have an elevated temperature, the Hawaii Department of Transportation says the visitor will be checked out by paramedics stationed at the airport.

Visitors will also be required to sign a legally binding document, stating they understand they’re required to quarantine for 14 days while in Hawaii. They also have to acknowledge the consequences of disobeying the mandatory quarantine, which is a $5,000 fine and up to one year behind bars.

They’ll also need to provide a valid, personal phone number so the state can contact them while they’re visiting Hawaii. Airport personnel will be verifying the information on the spot by calling the phone number provided.

Visitors will also need to provide a number for their place of lodging.

If they’re staying at a hotel, personnel will call the hotel immediately to verify the person actually has a reservation. The Hawaii DOT says authorities will have a list of contact numbers for every hotel in the state, so providing a fake phone number for a hotel will not be possible.

If visitors are planning to stay at a vacation rental, the state warns the rental operator may be subject to fines.

“This should be a warning to all vacation rentals in the state to stop accepting visitor reservations because the government will have the address and they will be subject to enforcement if they are operating illegally,” said Tim Sakahara, the Hawaii Department of Transportation spokesperson.

Transportation officials say that all the information provided will be verified before the passenger is allowed to leave the airport.

In addition to the screenings, DOT administrative employees have been reassigned to help with enforcement efforts. These employees will check in on returning residents to verify they're following quarantine rules.

On Friday, 118 visitors arrived in the islands, according to the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

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