Are Hawaii’s quarantine rules suited for more visitors? Ige thinks so
HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Officials are reporting four more arrests of out-of-state passengers who recently broke quarantine.
The latest arrests were reported as Gov. Ige said he believes quarantine rules are sufficient if more visitors begin arriving in Hawaii as other mainland states begin to open.
The state said three of those arrests took place on Oahu, and another on Maui. Those arrested included 25-year-old Mitchell Lawrence Shier of Miami; 27-year-old Anne Elizabeth Rush of Illinois; 60-year-old Leif Anthony Johansen of Truckee, California; and 34-year-old William Lefear of Houston Texas.
In all cases, they were noted by authorities to have left their home or hotel for food or shopping. The state said Shier, Rush, and Johanson were booked and charged and later released on their own recognizance, and ordered to complete quarantine at their stated place of lodging.
Lefear opted to leave the islands to head back home to Texas.
“In light of the health and safety concerns presented by this pandemic, law enforcement has a zero-tolerance attitude towards anyone who violates the traveler self-quarantine rule. When we receive reports of violations, we will pursue them,” Hawaii Attorney General Clare Connors said in a news release.
On Wednesday, Gov. Ige clarified exactly what it means to be in quarantine after arriving in Hawaii:
“Remember, quarantine means that you stay in your room. You can’t go to the pool, you can’t go to any facility at the hotel. You get your meals delivered, you’re not allowed to leave the room for meals. There is no service in the room, they don’t make your beds, they don’t provide you linens, you stay in your room. You’re restricted to the room and you’re not allowed to leave," Ige said.
Ige continued, “And when visitors understand that that’s what it is and that we’ll enforce it, we’re pretty confident they’ll choose not to be here.”
He explained quarantine after asked if the rules are enough to ensure public health and safety if there is a surge in new visitors in coming weeks.
Several mainland state are easing restrictions, and many worry that people in those states may eye Hawaii as a prime destination to relax after such a stressful lockdown period.
But concerns over effectiveness of the quarantine have been on the forefront as counties have reported arrests of visitors and many appearing to blatantly ignore the rules.
Ige has indicated the state is still figuring it out when it comes to tracking arriving passengers after they provide lodging information and leave the airport. Ankle monitors have been among the ideas tossed around.
"We do believe that our quarantine system will be ready. We continue to make improvements everyday. Everyday we’re looking at closing the gaps that we identify," Ige said.
He added the state continues to work on coordination between airport screening, following up with visitors and their lodging destinations, and law enforcement to ensure the rules are followed.
The quarantine also applied to inter-island travel and is set to last until at least May 31.
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