Travel quarantine violations lead to almost 200 arrests in Hawaii

HONOLULU, HI (KITV) — Though Hawaii still has its 14-day quarantine mandate in effect for all out-of-state travelers, thousands continue to travel to the Aloha State.

However, the Hawaii COVID-19 Joint Information Center says not all travelers have followed the rules.

To track everyone, JIC says it’s a “monumental effort to keep track of everyone who should be in quarantine and it involves a hui of law enforcement agencies, representatives of Hawai‘i’s visitor industry, state transportation workers, and the community generally.”

In total, 182 people have been arrested on O’ahu, Kaua’i, Maui and Hawai’i Island for violating emergency quarantine rules.

The Honolulu Police Department (HPD) says officers have discretion to warn, cite, or arrest based on available facts and circumstances.

Currently, the state’s team calling quarantined visitors is made up of 80 workers workers from the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, the Hawai‘i Visitors and Convention Bureau, Hawai‘i County Civil Defense and the Maui Police Department. JIC says they work to call quarantined visitors from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day, including weekends and holidays.

“They have contacted well over 27,000 travelers and have made more than 113,000 phone calls, texts and emails since the quarantine order went into effect at the end of March,” JIC said in a statement.

The quarantined visitors reportedly receive calls as many as three times during their two-week-long quarantines. Nearly 7,145 people are still being tracked.

The state’s team has escalated 667 travel parties since the end of March for suspected or reported violations. The team then provides supporting documentation to law enforcement for their investigations into quarantine violations.

JIC reports that AG’s investigators are also conducting random “compliance” checks on those in quarantine, and special agents go into the field to see if people are complying.

Attorney General Clare E. Connors commented, “Our investigations division team focuses on any crimes that significantly affect the safety and well-being of our community. In addition, they provide public safety services during emergency situations. We take seriously our responsibility to keep people safe during this COVID-19 pandemic.”

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