Hawaii is arresting tourists who break the state's mandatory 14-day quarantine to go to the beach

Hawaii is arresting tourists who break the state's mandatory 14-day quarantine to go to the beach
In this March 28, 2020, file photo, a couple sits on an empty section of Waikiki Beach in Honolulu. Hawaii law enforcement authorities are cracking down on rogue tourists who are visiting beaches, jet skiing, shopping and generally flouting strict requirements that they quarantine for 14 days after arriving.AP Photo/Caleb Jones, File
  • Tourists visiting Hawaii must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival to help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
  • Tourists who violate the quarantine face up to a $5,000 fine or a year in jail.
  • Police have arrested at least 20 tourists who they say violated the quarantine by going to the beach, leaving their hotels, or shopping at a grocery store.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Police in Hawaii are arresting rogue tourists who are continuing to go to beaches and grocery stories without quarantining for 14 days after arriving.

In March, Hawaii's Governor David Ige signed an emergency stay-at-home order that said anyone arriving into the state thereafter would have to undergo a 14-day quarantine before they can re-enter society.

But Hawaii officials say some tourists aren't following the rules. Police have arrested at least 20 people on charges of violating quarantine, who all face up to a $5,000 fine or a year in jail, the Associated Press reported.

"Our initial goal is to educate people," Lt. Audra Sellers of the Maui Police Department told CNN. "Our efforts are meant to keep people safe and stop them from spreading the virus."

Repeat offenders who have had warnings about the quarantine, Sellers told CNN, will be arrested.


Police have arrested tourists so far at hotels, a Costco outlet, and in a grocery store parking lot.

According to the Associated Press, Hawaii's stay-at-home orders are the strictest of any state. As of Tuesday, Hawaii, which has a population of 1.416 million, has had 634 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 17 deaths from the virus.

The state's tourist quarantine rules state that people can't leave their hotels or residencies for any reason other than medical emergencies. For 14 days, quarantined visitors can't go grocery shopping, take walks, or use hotel services like housekeeping.

Airports and hotels have put strict measures in place in hopes of stopping quarantined tourists from making nonessential trips.

When people arrive on the island, they have to give the state's transportation department their contact information and information about where they'll be staying, as well as sign a document acknowledging they'll face arrest if they break quarantine. Health officials at airports also have to ensure peoples' phone numbers hotel reservations are valid.


The Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau and the Hawaii Tourism Authority have been told to call tourists to verify they're in quarantine once they reach their hotels.

Hotel managers told CNN that some locations are issuing one-time-use key cards, which don't allow re-entry to rooms after someone leaves. If visitors violate the quarantine more than once, hotel staff are instructed to call the police.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell told CNN that the measures are put in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and that the quarantine measures necessary even in such a welcoming state.

"We're a place of great aloha, and aloha still remains," he said. "But aloha works both ways. It works from the perspective of the people who live here and the people who visit here. If you're coming here and acting irresponsibly, you're not showing aloha to the place you say you care about."

Read the original article on Insider