AG talks quarantine enforcement policies with panel

State officials are investigating new policies to better enforce the state’s mandatory 14-day quarantine for interisland and out-of-state travelers.

During a Tuesday meeting of the state Senate Special Committee on COVID-19, Hawaii Attorney General Clare Connors said the state is looking into implementing a system whereby vacation rental owners can be fined for not keeping their guests in compliance with quarantine requirements.

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The system, Connors explained, would be valuable in managing users of online lodging broker Airbnb, and added it could be expanded to users of online car rental platforms such as Turo.

The process would require owners of rental properties or rental cars to sign an attestation acknowledging a guest is permitted to be on the property and is required to shelter in place for 14 days, and could face penalties for allowing the guest to leave.

However, Connors acknowledged the program has some kinks to be worked out, particularly regarding out-of-state rental owners. In addition, Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard said, for now, quarantine violations are not mandatory arrests, so violations would be handled differently on a case-by-case basis.

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Connors also discussed additional screening procedures that could be implemented at state airports, including additional forms to be signed by travelers upon arrival.

“We want to get the state to our new normal, where everyone coming in submits their recent travel and testing histories,” Connors said.

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