Oregon Woman Arrested For Breaking Hawaii Quarantine Guidelines

An Oregon woman was arrested in Hawaii last week after she arrived without adhering to the state’s quarantine restrictions, according to police.

As reported by the Associated Press, “After arriving on a flight from Seattle, Kelsey Newcomer, 36, of Portland, did not have a negative pre-travel COVID-19 test from an approved facility and she did not have approved lodging where she could complete a mandatory 10-day travel quarantine, Maui police said.”

She was then taken to a police station in Wailuku and later on reportedly agreed to depart the island and go back to Oregon, as stated by police. According to Alana Pico, a police spokeswoman, she was not traveling with anyone. 

The outlet reported that people who travel to Hawaii must adhere to the state’s pre-travel testing program even if they are vaccinated against COVID-19. “Travelers must have a negative test result prior to departing for Hawaii in order to bypass the quarantine. Hawaii authorities have been arresting people who violate the rules,” per the outlet. 

The Hawaiian Islands travel website explains the travel requirements:

Despite the CDC’s announcement on April 2, Hawaii continues with the state’s Safe Travels pre-travel testing program, even for fully vaccinated passengers.  Travelers must have their negative test results prior to departing as an alternative to Hawaii’s mandatory 10-day quarantine. Although Hawaii’s policy may change in the near future, it remains in place until further notice.

However, the site added, “Individuals fully vaccinated in the State of Hawaii may travel inter-county without pre-travel testing/quarantine starting the 15th day after the completion of their vaccination.”

Last month, The Daily Wire reported that Hawaii was moving to create a “vaccine passport” program for travelers coming into the Aloha State as it gets closer to the summer tourism months.

Hawaii Magazine reported that beginning “May 11, people who have received their vaccination in Hawaiʻi and have completed the required 14-day waiting period can travel between the Hawaiian Islands without taking a COVID-19 test or going into quarantine.” People who are not vaccinated can get a pre-test instead. 

According to ABC7 News, Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii Josh Green said in April the state is planning to alter its rules for people coming into the state around the July 4 holiday, but the precise date hasn’t yet been determined. 

Green said Hawaii anticipates reaching herd immunity sometime near the July 4 weekend based on the speed of its vaccine rollout. “As we’re safer and you’re safer, then that vaccine passport makes all the sense in the world,” he said.

The outlet noted that Green said tourism is already at 65% of regular levels in Hawaii and is getting ready for even more activity during the highest part of the summer season. 

“We actually had more tourists than we could believe in the year leading up to COVID, we topped over 10 million people. But we love tourists,” said Green. “We will be ready.”

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