Hotels help police enforce quarantine for travelers who land without a negative test

Hotels are first line of defense to make sure visitors are following quarantine rules

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said hotels are assisting police with enforcing the quarantine mandate for visitors who didn’t land with a negative COVID-19 test.

“If they’re not in the room then they are violating quarantine and it can be reported, warned and then cited,” Caldwell said, in a news conference Thursday.

Caldwell said that HPD Chief Susan Ballard and deputy Chief John McCarthy organized a call with the security personnel of all the major resorts in Waikiki.

“We were told that security is actually having calls being made up to the rooms for those who need to quarantine,” Caldwell said. “So it gave me some comfort to know that there’s enforcement going on because the Honolulu Police Department can’t be everywhere.”

Caldwell said that if hotel security finds violators, they refer the situation to HPD.

Since the pre-travel testing program launched on Oct. 15, police have issued about 8,400 warnings and 885 citations and or arrests. The majority are for large gatherings, masks and social distancing.

“There’s no way they could call people 8,000 people three times a day or knock on doors with just 2,200 officers,” Caldwell said.

As of Wednesday, Caldwell said that there were about 7,902 people in quarantine on the island.

That means they landed in the islands without a negative COVID-19 test taken before departure. Some travelers are awaiting results for tests or have uploaded them to the state’s travel website.

Of those in quarantine, 2,552 are visitors while 5,350 are residents.

The mayor said he has a meeting Thursday with the tourism officials to talk about additional efforts to make sure people are following those quarantine rules and how to educate visitors.

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