HONOLULU(KHON2)–Neighbor island officials said they are doing everything in their power to inform and protect their communities. That includes issuing citations and even arresting those who disobey the quarantine and stay-at-home orders. They said they will not hesitate to impose even stricter measures if people don’t comply.
“I’ll put the full power of my office behind enforcing those restrictions right now,” Kauai Prosecuting Attorney Justin Kollar said.
Kauai isn’t messing around. They arrested a 62-year-old Florida man for violating the mandatory 14-day quarantine order.
“Anyone who is irresponsible enough to get on a plane and come to Hawaii for a vacation right now needs to understand that they are going to be spending 14 days in their hotel room isolated from the outside world before they are allowed to step foot in our community.”
Kollar said Kauai police have also issued seven citations and that they are continuing to operate random check points around the island.
“Primarily they’re educational in nature and informative in nature just to make sure people understand that they need to be limiting their activities to essential tasks right now. However, there is also an enforcement component to that and as we’ve seen in the last couple of days there are still people out there who are willing to flaunt the restrictions that are in place and they’re going to have to be dealt with.”
Kauai was the first county to take action to stop the spread of COVID-19 on March 18th when Kauai Mayor Derek Kawakami announced that “Kauai is on vacation” they are the only county with a mandatory 9 p.m. curfew.
Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino said they too are cracking down on rule-breakers.
“The educational stage is done. The warning stage is done. Now we’re moving into really giving the citations. If they’re not going to obey we’re going to give them the citation.”
Victorino said Maui Police have already issued more than 30 citations. He said that number will likely increase, especially at beaches.
“The beaches are the biggest challenge because people want to go to the beach…Go to the beach, do their paddle-boarding, do their surfing, do their spear fishing, whatever they want to do, exercise wise, then leave. Don’t congregate,” Victorino said.
“Don’t sit there and watch the sunset because we’ve issued a number of citations because of people wanting to watch the sunset…once we allow some people to stay other will come and before you know it we’ve got a gathering.”
Victorino said if people continue to be non-compliant he won’t hesitate to impose even stricter rules for Maui County.
“I’m giving the people the opportunity to show me that they have common sense and that they are able to obey these rules. I’m going to give them to the end of this week and re evaluate.”
Lieutenant Governor Josh Green said he is concerned with some information he’s hearing about Hawaii Island.
“There’s been a lot of lax behavior. And I’m not blaming anybody, but on the Big Island, people have not taken it quite as seriously and to heart. I’m hearing lots of reports and there will be a lot of spread on Big Island if people don’t tighten it up,” Green said.
Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim said that’s not true.
“I’ll disagree with him not only mildly but totally in regard to Big Island people not taking it seriously,” Kim said.
“If we have reports of large gatherings, I assure you people are dispatched to talk to them and disperse them. And we make daily reminders to what the rules are.”
Kim said they have a task force that is visiting businesses and merchants to make sure they understand the new rules and are compliant.
“The biggest problem is people want to get out and they hang out outside. They just need to be reminded to make it less than 10 people.”
So far, Hawaii County has issued at least 13 citations.