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Two California men arrested at Hawaii airport for COVID-19 violations, police say

Two California men were arrested this week at Kahului Airport on the island of Maui for alleged violations of the COVID-19 quarantine, the Maui Police Department said.

Joe Huerta, 60, and Josiah Huerta, 31, flew at Kahului Airport on April 28, but neither had negative COVID-19 tests before traveling from an approved facility. They also did not approve accommodation in which to fulfill the mandatory 10-day quarantine for travel to the state.

Both men were transported to the Wailuku Police Department for processing and reportedly left Maui voluntarily and flew back to California.

This is not the first time tourists have been arrested for violating Hawaii’s COVID-19 regulations. A woman from San Francisco was arrested and imprisoned after breaking quarantine, and posted about it on social media. Two Louisiana tourists were arrested for attempted bribery at an airport screening when they arrived without negative tests for COVID-19.

One tourist even died while opposing quarantine regulations.

This week also marks the tragic death of a child under the age of 11 in Hawaii from COVID-19. The child, who was traveling to Hawaii with his vaccinated parents, died after being infected with a coronavirus. The child had major illnesses and their case marked the first death in the state from the virus in a person under the age of 11, according to the Hawaii Department of Health.

Despite the April 2 CDC announcement – which recommends that fully vaccinated people be able to travel at low risk for themselves – Hawaii continues its state pre-travel testing program on Safe Travels, even for fully vaccinated travelers. These rules stipulate that travelers must show negative test results before leaving to avoid a mandatory 10-day quarantine.

The state says that although this policy will change in the near future, it will remain in force until the next announcement.

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