Hawaii is a destination that hasn’t mixed words on short term tourism. It was so eager to get rid of anyone who wouldn’t take quarantine laws seriously, it even set up a fund to get them off the islands and on their way anywhere else.
With such stringent lock down requirements for residents, and 14 day quarantine for arriving visitors, Hawaii has been one of the more successful popular places to maintain excellent health figures. With the world now looking toward reopening for the future, Hawaii has a few proposals to keep its excellent track record just that.
For starters, Hawaii, or at least lawmakers in the Hawaiian State Senate wants laws in place so they can throw the book at you, your car rental company or hotel, if you’re found to be in breach of the 14 day quarantine restrictions. Presently, restrictions and fines are all about the violator, and not those who could be seen in aiding the violation.
According to Hawaii News, the State Senate is seeking legal footing to include fines and or criminal charges in relation to the following measures, the enforcement of which carriers up to $5,000 fines or 1 year sentences. The proposals add bite to what’s currently in place, going after not only the offender but the hotel or car rental company too, including…
- immediate fines for violators of the quarantine.
- fines for hotels where violators are staying.
- hotels to withhold room keys so visitors are unable to come and go.
- visitors be barred from renting cars during the quarantine period.
Here’s how this all works. Until further notice, arrivals into Hawaii must self isolate for 14 days, but hotels are still an acceptable place to do that. The rule is simply that you cannot for any reason leave your hotel room, so make sure to pay that upgrade fee for an ocean view room if you’re in this camp!
You can look at paradise, but not touch.
This is where the key restriction comes in. Hotels would be required to keep the only key to the room, which would make it incredibly hard for a guest to get out and back in again. With larger fines not only for property, but the person offending as well, chances of success are more likely.
Of course, some rooms are ground level and offer a patio out back, so this is never going to be perfect, and enforcement at some point could become more trouble than it’s worth.
In the near term, it’s not hard to see how some of these things could make sense. Eventually though, once it’s believed that the worst has been avoided and economies must restart, places like Hawaii where tourism “is” the economy, must seek other less restrictive solutions.
Europe, just a few weeks ahead of the USA in grappling with the crisis is already looking to establish negative testing standards before someone would be allowed to board a flight. Pass, on you go. Fail, vacation cancelled.
If someone were to test positive, they’d be excluded from boarding. Anyone testing negative, or displaying antibodies would be allowed to board as usual and most importantly – immediately enjoy their trip without 14 days of Netflix. Austria was the first to not only propose, but actually enact this form of testing.
This style of proactive monitoring could rid the Hawaiian Islands of a 14 day quarantine which makes leisure travel all but impossible, while maintaining a safety net. With summer, and most importantly fall travel coming around relatively soon, it’s something many around the world will hope happens soon.
With a trip on the books for October, I can only dream…