Investigator: Visitors are skipping out on quarantine rules by going inter-island

Updated: Jul. 20, 2020 at 8:38 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Visitors are trying to skirt Hawaii quarantine rules by hopping on inter-island flights, an investigator with the Kauai County Prosecutor’s Office said.

“The screening is not consistent. It’s not being thorough enough and a lot of these people who are coming through with a connecting boarding pass,” said Rapozo, an investigator with the Prosecutor’s Office who is also a former Kauai County councilman and police officer.

"It's a shame how many people are doing that and I think a very small percentage of them are getting arrested," he added.

Rapozo says owners of residential vacation rentals are also skirting the law to rent to visitors.

"These guys are writing the 180 day leases letting the people come in for a week or two and then canceling the lease. I mean it's just pathetic and it's frustrating," he said.

"I'm just having a hard time believing that all these people fulfilled 14 days quarantine," he added.

State Attorney Clare Connors acknowledged that quarantine enforcement isn’t perfect.

Some 182 people have been arrested in Hawaii for violating the quarantine order since March.

Over that same period of time, the Attorney General’s Office said it has contacted more than 27,000 travelers to ensure they’re following the rules.

“I do want to reassure people is that we are aware of the need to enforce,” Connors said.

“We have set up systems to enforce not just at the airports and when people come through they are properly screened.”

Investigators also do random checks.

“My agents go knock on doors, make phone calls and check to make sure that the people are there,” said Paul Jones, deputy chief of the Attorney General’s Office Investigative Division.

With the travel quarantine now extended to Sept. 1, Rapozo says law enforcement has more time to work out the kinks.

"Because it's going to be devastating I think if we don't lock down these loopholes now," he said.

The attorney general says if you have information about a potential violator, call police and be sure to provide details.

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