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Two men in California 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 quarantine COVID-19, according to the Maui Police Department.

Joe Huerta, 60, and Josiah Huerta, 31, flew into Kahului Airport on April 28, but neither of them had negative COVID-19 tests before leaving an approved facility. Nor had they approved lodging where they could implement the state’s mandatory 10-day travel quarantine.

Both men were transported to Wailuku Police Station for treatment and reportedly volunteered to leave Maui and fly back to California.

This is not the first time tourists have been arrested for violating Hawaii COVID-19 rules. A woman in San Francisco was arrested and jailed after she broke quarantine and posted about it on social media. Two Louisiana tourists were arrested for trying to bribe an airport screener as they also arrived without negative COVID-19 tests.

A tourist even died while defying the quarantine regulations.

This week also saw the tragic death of a child under 11 in Hawaii from COVID-19. The child, who traveled to Hawaii with his vaccinated parents, died after contracting coronavirus. The child had underlying conditions, and their case marked the first death in the state from the virus from a person under 11, according to the Hawaii Department of Health.

Despite the CDC’s announcement on April 2 – which recommends fully vaccinated people to travel at low risk for themselves – the Hawaii state’s Safe Travel test program continues before travel, even for fully vaccinated passengers. These rules state that travelers must show negative test results before departure to avoid a mandatory 10-day quarantine.

The state says that although this policy may change in the near future, it will remain in place until further notice.

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