Hawaii requires a 14 day quarantine for people arriving in the state. That’s why American Airlines carries an extra crew with them flying to Honolulu – one crew rests on the way to Hawaii, then works the flight home, while those who worked the flight over rest on the way back. They don’t get off the plane and trigger the quarantine rule.
The state has had just 55 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the past week. Perhaps they benefit from warm, humidity, and a tendency to spend time outdoors. Perhaps the quarantine for arriving passengers put in place April 1 has helped as well.
But what happens when visitors to the Islands violate the quarantine order? In some cases they’re charged with a misdemeanor and fined, but in any case they’re asked to leave the state. And if they claim they cannot afford to do so, the state pays to ship them home.
The Hawaii Tourism Authority has set aside $25,000 for the costs of sending tourists away if they refuse to abide by the state’s 14-day quarantine.
The state said in a press release that outbound travel arrangements are being handled by the Visitor Aloha Society, a non-profit group that normally helps tourists in Hawaii deal with problems during their visit, such as theft or a medical emergency.
“The ability to return people quickly to their airports of origin during the coronavirus crisis greatly assists law enforcement’s ability to ensure the success of our statewide emergency measures,” Hawai’i State Attorney General Clare Connors said in a statement.
Nineteen people violated the state’s quarantine orders and were “flown back to their airports of origin since the beginning of the emergency.”
Does offering a free airline ticket for violating quarantine encourage people not to violate quarantine, though?