HONOLULU (KHON2) — Hawaii Governor David Ige announced on March 21 that he signed a second emergency proclamation. This proclamation mandates a 14-day quarantine for all incoming travelers to the state of Hawaii.
“We believe that it will help us to flatten the curve so that our healthcare system is not overwhelmed like it has been in other communities around the world,” Gov. Ige said.
This measure will go into effect on March 26 at 12:01 a.m.
According to Hawaii Emergency Management Agency Director Kenneth Hara, returning residents are ordered to quarantine at home. As for visitors, they will have to remain in their hotel rooms.
However, should a visitor’s trip fall shorter than the 14-day quarantine period, they will remain in their designated quarantine location for the duration of their trip and not 14 days.
“You may leave your designated quarantine for medical emergencies or to seek medical care,” said Hara. “If the traveler becomes ill with a fever or cough they are to continue to stay in their designated quarantine location and avoid contact with others.”
This will only apply to incoming flights that are coming from out of state. This will not affect inter-island travel, according to the proclamation.
Ige then revealed that this mandate will not apply to flight crews.
The governor says that this mandate will go into effect on March 26 to allow travelers the opportunity to cancel or reschedule their trip to the state. He says it will also allow industry partners to adjust to the new mandate.
The mandatory 14-day self-quarantine orders are:
- Proceed directly from the airport to your designated quarantine location, which is the location identified and affirmed by you on the mandatory State of Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture Plants and Animals Declaration Form.
- Remain in your designated quarantine location for a period of 14 days or the duration of your stay in the State of Hawai‘i, whichever is shorter.
- If you are a resident, your designated quarantine location is your place of residence.
- If you are a visitor, your designated quarantine location is your hotel room or rented lodging.
- You can only leave your designated quarantine location for medical emergencies or to seek medical care.
- Do not visit any public spaces, including but not limited to pools, meeting rooms, fitness centers or restaurants.
- Do not allow visitors in or out of your designated quarantine location other than a physician, healthcare provider, or individual authorized to enter the designated quarantine location by the Director of HIEMA.
- Comply with any and all rules or protocols related to your quarantine as set forth by your hotel or rented lodging.
- If you become ill with a fever or cough:
- Continue to stay in designated quarantine location, avoid contact with others and contact a healthcare provider for further instructions on treatment or testing.
- If you are older or have any medical conditions (e.g., immune compromise, diabetes, asthma), consult your regular healthcare provider.
- If you feel you need medical care, contact healthcare provider and inform them of your travel history.
- If you need urgent medical care (e.g., have difficulty breathing), call 9-1-1 and let the dispatcher know your travel history).
Travelers will be responsible to get to their place of quarantine, Ige said.
Enforcement of this mandate will fall onto County mayors, who will manage how this new measure will be enforced.
To keep track of all incoming travelers, the HI-EMA Director says that travelers will have to fill out a mandatory agricultural form prior to landing and get their information verified, such as where they will be staying and their phone number. Those forms will be collected.
Those who don’t listen can spend up to one year in prison, or face a fine up to $5,000.
“We don’t want travelers in our community at this point and time. We would want to be able to deal with COVID-19. We don’t want travelers to come in and take resources away from our community,” said Gov. Ige.
On March 21, 11 new presumptive positive COVID-19 cases were announced, putting the state total to 48, according to the State Department of Health.
These new cases are in Hawaii Island, Honolulu, and Maui:
- Hawaii Island – 2
- Honolulu – 7
- Maui – 2
There is now a total of three cases in Hawaii County, 35 in Honolulu, three in Kauai, and seven in Maui. Out of the 48 cases, three have been hospitalized. No deaths in connection to COVID-19 have been reported.
All cases are linked to travel or have made contact with a traveler who tested positive.
“We have been aggressive in establishing testing centers all across the state,” said Ige. “There are more than 42 in operation as we speak. More than 2,500 tests have been completed in the state of Hawaii so far. 2,200 have been completed by private labs and this includes our community program.”
To watch the full press conference that was held on March 21, watch the video below: