Aloha State: Will Their Rigid Quarantine Rules Destroy Tourism?
In Hawaii, the Aloha state, where kindness toward visitors is actually written into their law, rigid quarantine rules threaten their tourism industry. If you go to Hawaii in the midst of the pandemic, you will have to quarantine in your hotel or condo for 14 days…and it is rigidly enforced. And when they say quarantine, they mean you can’t leave the room. Period.
Draconian Democrat measures
A newlywed couple were recently arrested after they did not comply with the quarantine. They left their hotel room, came back and were warned by hotel staff. They left the room again the next day, because they ignored the warning, hotel staff notified police and they were arrested.
Another couple was arrested after hotel staff saw them returning to their room with “shopping bags and takeout food.”
On that same day, a witness watched a 60 year old man jet-skiing. He notified police. They followed the man to Costco in Honolulu and arrested him after he purchased groceries.
From airlines to hotel staff, the people of Hawaii are following the rigid orders of Governor Ige, who issued the orders for both Hawaii residents an tourists in late March. The network of people even includes the Hawaii National Guard, who sometimes ride along with police officers to monitor people that are quarantined.
“New arrivals must fill out documentation listing their contact and lodging information, and a signature is required acknowledging one’s understanding that violating quarantine is a criminal offense punishable by a $5,000 fine and up to one year in prison, according to the state’s transportation department.
But enforcement efforts don’t stop there. Airport health officials are required to dial the cell number a passenger provides, to ensure it is valid. After verifying one’s contact information, a representative then calls the hotel where a visitor intends to stay, to confirm there is an existing reservation.
Hotel staff sometimes only issue a one time room key – if you leave the room you can’t get back in.
The Hawaiian islands, known as the “Aloha” state, are places of great tropical beauty. Not leaving your hotel room for 14 days would be extremely difficult, and maybe even bad for your health. No sunshine for 14 days? What about that vitamin D factor? What if your vacation only lasts for 7 days?
Up until now, they have been welcoming. But at this point in time, that welcome is tempered by fear of the Coronavirus. They haven’t had a new case of COVID-19 since March 13. But the constant worry about tourists bringing the virus to their archipelago and the draconian rules have not just ruined the reputation, but the vacations for many tourists. (Some of whom might not have been able to change their travel plans.)
“We, like most of the United States, are still dealing with the challenges of this pandemic. But right now, we see traveling as bringing the virus, and we would prefer people not come until it’s safe to travel again…
We’re a place of great aloha, and aloha still remains. But aloha works both ways. It works from the perspective of the people who live here and the people who visit here. If you’re coming here and acting irresponsibly, you’re not showing aloha to the place you say you care about…
We’re going to have a real struggle because we’re so dependent on tourism, and we definitely want tourists to come back. But we have to figure out how they come back where they’re safe, and we’re safe, too.” Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell
Overbearing fear and Democrat measures are damaging one of the most beautiful places on earth.
Featured photo of Hawaiian sunset by author