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National Guards and jail instead of flower leis for Hawaiian visitors

Tourists are not welcome in the Aloha State at this time. While it’s not illegal to arrive in Hawaii during COVID-19, it will no longer be fun. Hawaii National Guard is now at airports in Honolulu, Kahului, Lihue, Kona, and Hilo welcoming visitors not with a traditional flower lei, but with enhanced screening. Screening includes a temperature check the minute a tourist steps of an aircraft.

The next step is a legally binding document to be signed. It states the tourist understands he or she needs to stay in a hotel room or vacation rental for a period of 14 days.

The Governors Emergency declaration mandates: 

Stay at Home or in Their Place of Residence Pursuant to sections 127A-12(a)(5), 127A-12(b)(14), 127A-13(a)(1), and 127A-13(a)(7), HRS, all persons within the State of Hawaiʻi are ordered to stay at home or in their place of residence except as necessary to maintain continuity of operations of the federal critical infrastructure sectors, as set forth in Exhibit B attached hereto, and as further designated below or by the Director of HIEMA. With respect to persons residing in hotels, condominiums, townhomes, apartments, or other multi-unit dwellings, “place of residence” means the person’s individual hotel room or unit. To the extent, persons use shared or outdoor spaces when outside their residence, they must comply with the social distancing requirements set forth herein to the fullest extent possible. All persons may leave their homes or place of residence only for the essential businesses or operations described in Section III.A of the Sixth Supplementary Emergency   6 of 34  Proclamation (Proclamation) and/or to engage in permitted activities outside their homes or places of residence described in Section III.B of this Proclamation.

In signing the document the visitor has to acknowledge the consequences of disobeying the mandatory quarantine. The fine can be up to $5,000.00 and or one year in county jail. A cell phone number is also required, so officials can contact visitors anytime.

Hawaii National Guard soldiers will be verifying the information on the spot by calling the phone number provided. The visitor must show the soldier that the phone is ringing when called. Visitors will also need to provide a number for their place of lodging.

If they’re staying at a hotel, soldiers will call the hotel immediately to verify the person actually has a reservation. If visitors are planning to stay at a vacation rental, the state warns the rental operator may be subject to fines. All the information provided will be verified before the passenger is allowed to leave the airport.

In addition to the screenings, DOT administrative employees have been reassigned to help with enforcement efforts. These employees will check in on the visitors by calling their place of lodging throughout their stay, to verify they are abiding by quarantine rules. On Friday, 118 visitors arrived in the islands, according to the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

After 2 weeks quarantine the following restrictions are important for a visitor to obey:

1. Beach Closures. All beaches in Hawaiʻi are hereby closed. No person shall sit, stand, lie down, lounge, sunbathe, or loiter on any beach or sand bar in Hawaiʻi, except as allowed in Section III.C.4 below and when: a. transiting across or through beaches to access the ocean waters for outdoor exercise purposes, such as surfing, solo paddling, and swimming, so long as social distancing requirements are maintained; b. running, jogging, or walking on the beach, so long as social distancing requirements are maintained.

2. Boating Restrictions. No more than two persons are allowed in any boat on Hawaiʻi’s waters for recreational purposes unless they are part of a single residential or family unit sharing the same address. Both persons in the boat shall comply as reasonably possible with the social distancing requirements unless they are part of a single residential or family unit sharing the same address. All boats shall maintain a distance of 20 feet from other boats when in use. This restriction does not apply to fish as allowed in Section III.A.3 of this Proclamation.   12 of 34

3. Hiking Restrictions. No group of more than two persons is allowed to hike on state trails unless all hikers in the group are part of a single residential or family unit sharing the same address. All person hiking, who are not part of a single residential or family unit sharing the same address, shall maintain a distance of at least 20 feet from any other hiker. 4. Shore Fishing Limitations. No group of more than two persons may engage inshore fishing unless all in the group are part of a single residential or family unit sharing the same address. All persons engaging inshore fishing, who are not part of a single residential or family unit sharing the same address, shall comply with social distancing requirements.

Today, the Hawai‘i Department of Health reported 3 new positive cases for COVID-19 or a cumulative total of 604 cases statewide (reported since 2/28/2020)
The good news is Hawaii has the cleanest air in the United States.

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