While we’ve seen all sorts of incidents from travelers trying to skip Hawaii’s testing or quarantine requirements, this is a new one for me …
Hawaii visitors offer bribes of $ 3,000
Last Friday, two visitors to Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) in Hawaii were arrested on charges of bribing airport screeners to circumvent travel restrictions.
According to reports from the Hawaiian Department of Public Safety, two visitors came to Hawaii with no valid COVID-19 test results, which meant they had to be quarantined. But they didn’t want to, so they tried to bribe airport screeners.
A 29-year-old man from Simmesport, Louisiana offered screeners $ 2,000, while a 28-year-old woman from Baton Rouge, Louisiana offered to bring in an additional $ 1,000.
Airport screeners alerted the police, who arrested both of them for bribery. They were booked and released immediately and flew back to the mainland. The Attorney General is continuing to investigate the incident.
I mean, I think at some level they deserve at least some credit for not agreeing to quarantine and then skipping it like some others did? And at least they weren’t the couple who knowingly flew to Hawaii with coronavirus.
Two travelers tried to skip Hawaii’s quarantine requirement
Hawaii actually enforces its travel policies
While some US states technically have quarantine and testing requirements for travel, the majority of them are not enforced. The exception is Hawaii.
Travelers to Hawaii must either receive a negative coronavirus test result within 72 hours of travel or be quarantined for a period of 10 days (or the length of their trip, whichever is shorter).
All of this must be submitted prior to travel so that government officials can more easily track travelers. In other words, travelers can submit their test results prior to travel or are otherwise required to indicate their intention to quarantine and indicate where they plan to do so.
For example, the state also reports that a 44-year-old Michigan man was arrested last Friday for violating quarantine rules. Authorities were alerted by a Waikiki hotel that the man never showed up, despite the hotel being listed as its designated quarantine location. Instead, he checked into another hotel, hoping it would help him bypass the quarantine rules.
The man was tracked down and arrested. The deposit was $ 2,000.
Another traveler tried to skip the quarantine by staying at a different hotel
Hawaii continues to be the state that most consistently enforces its testing and quarantine requirements. This particular case is sure to be a mystery to me:
- Testing within 72 hours of travel really isn’t that complicated, and airlines have even partnered with labs to offer pre-travel test kits at home
- These two travelers attempted to offer a $ 3,000 bribe to be allowed into the state without quarantine. Not only is that a lot of money, but I’m surprised that they wouldn’t just try to skip the quarantine altogether
Kudos to Hawaii for the actual enforcement of its travel policies unlike so many other states.