Mayor Kim Orders Vacation Rentals, Other Types of Lodging to Cease Operations

April 10, 2020, 2:21 PM HST (Updated April 10, 2020, 2:26 PM)
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Hawai‘i County Mayor Harry Kim. Photo: Chris Yoakum.

Hawai‘i County Mayor Harry Kim has ordered all non-traditional lodging options to cease operations for the duration of the statewide stay-at-home order, currently in effect until April 30, 2020.

The order, the Mayor’s COVID-19 Emergency Rule No. 1, includes all vacation rentals, bed and breakfasts and timeshares. It is effective Monday, April 13, at 12:01 a.m. and will continue throughout the COVID-19 emergency, or until terminated sooner by the Mayor’s Order.

Under Governor David Ige’s Third Supplementary Proclamation, issued on March 23, hotels and motels used for lodging and delivering or carry-out food services were identified as essential businesses.

“Bed and breakfasts, short-term rentals and timeshares were not identified as essential businesses or operations under the governor’s Third Supplementary Proclamation,” the mayor’s order said.

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“The bed and breakfasts, short-term rentals and timeshares are spread out throughout the island, with many of them within residential communities and many of their occupants, who are visitors, possibly not complying with the governor’s proclamations to self-quarantine for 14 days at their place of stay.”

“Therefore, all of these specified businesses or operations, including advertising, must cease for the period specified in the governor’s proclamation,” the rule continued.

The rule said that current occupants of bed and breakfasts, short-term rentals and timeshares may stay until the end of the pre-booked period.

Violators of the rule, which has the force of law, will be subject to fines of up to $5,000, or imprisonment of up to one year, or both.

A press release announcing the rule did not include details on how the county would enforce the rule. Enforcement of all mandatory orders has proven challenging across the state.

“Most (visitors) that are flying in, I’m quite certain that they’re not following quarantine,” said Major General Kenneth Hara, Incident Commander at the Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency, at a meeting this week with the Special Senate Committee on COVID-19.

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