HONOLULU, Hawaii (CNN) — The governor of Hawaii is discouraging tourists from visiting the state through early summer due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Hawaii Gov. David Ige said in an online question-and-answer session that the mandatory quarantine for any travelers visiting Hawaii will continue through at least the end of June.
The state has cracked down on visitors who fail to abide by the quarantine, in some cases telling scofflaws to leave the islands entirely. The quarantine rule was established in mid-March, and Ige said at the time that tourists should cancel their travel for at least 30 days.
Any travelers who visit Hawaii are forced to self-quarantine for 14 days, which means that visitors must stay in their hotel rooms or residence for two weeks before the restrictions are lifted.
New arrivals are required to fill out documentation listing their contact and lodging information, and they must sign the document acknowledging that violating the quarantine is a criminal offense punishable by a $5,000 fine and up to a year in prison, according to the state’s transportation department.
“These actions are extreme, but necessary, to flatten the curve and lay the groundwork for our recovery,” Ige said.
A number of visitors, including a newlywed couple on their honeymoon, have been arrested by police for ignoring the state’s emergency pandemic orders requiring them to self-quarantine for 14 days.
“We, like most of the United States, are still dealing with the challenges of this pandemic,” Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell told CNN. “But right now, we see traveling as bringing the virus, and we would prefer people not come until it’s safe to travel again.”
According to John Hopkins University, Hawaii has 637 coronavirus cases and 17 deaths. There are at least 1,419,863 cases of coronavirus in the US, and at least 85,964 people have died.