Two Visitors Who Violated Quarantine Multiple Times Sent Home

April 23, 2020, 6:00 AM HST (Updated April 23, 2020, 1:44 AM)
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Police have arrested four people over the last week for violating the state’s mandatory, 14-day travel quarantine.

All four individuals were arrested on O‘ahu. Kimberly Kim Tien, of Las Vegas and Edwin Htun, of Australia, were arrested Wednesday by special agents from the Department of the Attorney General after their hotel received complaints that they’d been outdoors repeatedly during the five days since they first arrived on O‘ahu, according to a state press release.

The two were then arrested for a second time Wednesday after officers escorted them back to their hotel in Waikiki. According to multiple news reports, both agreed to plea deals that included leaving the state immediately.

In some cases, violators leave the state to lessen the resource burden on law enforcement authorities. In others, they are ordered to return to their lodging and to stay put until they’ve completed their self-quarantine period.

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Also on Wednesday, Honolulu Police Department officers arrested a California man and a woman in A‘ala Park for violating the emergency rules. They’d allegedly violated the self-quarantine rules for an entire week, the release said.

Anyone arriving in Hawai‘i from out of state goes through a mandatory screening process, including filling out an Order for Self-Quarantine form. Depending on the island, processing of these forms is handled by the Department of Transportation and/or the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority.

Accommodations for visitors are verified by contacting hotels directly and giving them a heads up that a visitor is headed their way. Visitors and returning residents are then contacted numerous times to verify that they are staying in their place of lodging or at home.

Call center workers, mostly from the Hawai‘i Visitors and Convention Bureau and HTA have made 11,000 calls since the quarantine rules took effect on March 26, according to the press release. When call center workers fail to contact someone, they alert law enforcement.

Law enforcement relies on these reports, along with tips from the public and hotel workers, to track down people who may be in violation of the self-quarantine rules, the release continued. Across the state, the Hawai‘i National Guard is supporting and augmenting the efforts of the visitor industry and state and county law enforcement agencies.

While the number of arrests for self-quarantine violations are not currently available from all counties, Kaua‘i County detained five people between March 31 and April 11 for quarantine violations.

Prosecutions are handled by the county prosecutor or the Department of the Attorney General, depending on the circumstances of the arrest. Anyone convicted of violating this emergency rule could be fined as much as $5,000 and/or be sentenced to one year in jail.

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