Big Island Coronavirus Updates

Senate Committee Asks Chief Justice to be Tougher on Quarantine Violators

May 13, 2020, 1:54 PM HST
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The Hawai‘i State Senate Special Committee on COVID-19 doesn’t think the mandatory travel quarantine is being appropriately implemented.

Two letters were sent by the committee, one to Hawai‘i Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald and one to Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell, expressing concerns about the enforcement of the quarantine order put into effect by Governor David Ige.

The letter to the Chief Justice states the concern “that the quarantine orders are being flouted once travelers leave the airport” and that when violators “appear before a judge, often the violators are released on their own recognizance without any measures to ensure no further violations happen.”

The committee asked that he consider the public’s safety and issue a directive to judges to require bail prior to release and conditions such as ankle bracelets for quarantine violators.

The letter to Mayor Caldwell lists the actions taken by the Hawai‘i Department of Transportation to screen and verify passenger information and require compliance with the state’s quarantine orders but says that the public is consistently reporting “travelers blatantly violating” the quarantine.

“Disturbingly, we have also received reports that the City and County of Honolulu have avoided addressing these public concerns of non-compliance with regularity,” the letter says, and requests that the administration make enforcement of the quarantine “a priority by investigating and arresting people who violate them in our community, including returning residents and vacation rentals…”

The special committee members are Senators Donovan Dela Cruz, Jarrett Keohokalole, Michelle N. Kidani, Donna Mercado Kim, Sharon Moriwaki and Kurt Fevella.

 ATTACHMENTS:

Letter to Chief Justice Recktenwald

Letter to Mayor Caldwell

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