SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Lured by cheap airfares, thousands of San Francisco Bay Area residents have purchased airline tickets and signed up for hotel packages they believed would be a dream vacation to Hawaii, but Gov. David Ige announced tough crackdown in the wake of the growing coronavirus outbreak.
Hawaii and United Airlines both slashed prices dramatically from the San Francisco Bay Area to Hawaii to levels where many local residents who normally could not afford to fly to the exotic location booked flights as low as $238 roundtrip and signed up for equally affordable lodging packages.
On Saturday, Ige announced a severe crackdown on travelers to the Islands and said violators could face fines of up to $5,000 or imprisonment of not more than one year or both.
Here are highlights of his order:
- 1. All traveler to Hawaii must 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 If you are a resident, your designated quarantine location is your residence. If you are a visitor, your designated quarantine location is your hotel room or rented lodging.
- 2. 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 — You may leave your designated quarantine location only for medical emergencies or to seek medical care.
- 3. Do not visit any public spaces, including but not limited to pools, meeting rooms, fitness centers or restaurants.
- 4. 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.
- 5. Comply with any and all rules or protocols related to your quarantine as set forth by your hotel or rented lodging.
The mandatory travel restrictions will go in place starting Thursday.
“With the majority of Hawaiʻi’s COVID-19 cases linked to travel, it is critical that we further mitigate the spread of the virus by both residents and visitors who are coming from out-of-state,” Gov. David Ige said in a statement. “This plan was developed in collaboration with our county mayors and Hawaiʻi’s business, community and visitor industry leaders.”
“These actions are extreme, but they will help flatten the curve and lay the groundwork for a quicker recovery,” he continued. “We need everyone to comply with these quarantine orders to help protect Hawaiʻi’s residents.”
Over the weekend, the state announced 11 new cases of people with coronavirus, bringing Hawaii’s total to 48, according to Hawaii News Now. Three of them are hospitalized.
The U.S. Army announced a soldier with the 25th Infantry Battalion based in Hawaii tested positive for coronavirus, the first case linked to the Army community in the state. Hawaii News Now reported. The soldier is in isolation.