A tourist from New York has been arrested in Hawaii after he allegedly violated state regulations that require travelers to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.
Tarique Peters, 23, of the Bronx, arrived in Honolulu on Monday. He then posted photographs on Instagram photos showing himself sunbathing at the beach and carrying a surfboard, state officials said.
“He allegedly left his hotel room the day he arrived and traveled many places using public transportation. Authorities became aware of his social media posts from citizens who saw posts of him — on the beach with a surfboard, sunbathing, and walking around Waikiki at night,” said a news release from the Hawaii COVID-19 Joint Information Center. “This morning agents were able to confirm with hotel personnel that had seen Peters leave his room and the premises on numerous occasions this week,” the statement said.
Hawaii authorities have instituted strict quarantine regulations for tourists, even though the state has only 638 confirmed coronavirus cases and 17 deaths as of Friday.
“Agents from the state attorney general’s office arrested him Friday morning. Hotel staff told the agents they saw Peters leave his room and the hotel numerous times,” The Associated Press reported.
Travelers in quarantine aren’t allowed to leave hotel rooms or residences for any reason except medical emergencies. Hotel guests don’t receive housekeeping services and must arrange for food to be delivered to them.
Peters was booked, and his bail was set at $4,000. …
A photo from two days ago with the location “Honolulu – Waikiki Beach” shows him carrying a surfboard on a beach. A photo from May 4 shows him wearing a mask in New York City’s Bryant Park.
Peters was charged with “unsworn falsification to authority.”
Hawaii now requires tourists to list their contact and lodging information, and all visitors must sign an agreement that they will spend the next 14 days in self-quarantine. “By signing the legal document, they acknowledge they understand violating the order is a criminal offense and they are subject to a $5,000 fine and/or a year imprisonment,” according to the state’s department of transportation. The state’s mandatory quarantine runs through the end of June, Gov. David Ige said this week.
Hawaii Attorney General Clare Connors said, “We appreciate the assistance of local people who spot flagrant violations of our emergency rules on various social media sites and report them to the appropriate authorities.”
Tourism to the island paradise has been severely affected by the virus. On Thursday, 252 visitors and 318 residents arrived, according to the Hawaii Tourism Authority. During the same period last year, nearly 30,000 passengers arrived.
Recently, a California couple was arrested in Hawaii for violating the state’s quarantine rule, CBS Sacramento reported. According to the state, the couple refused to follow quarantine orders despite repeated warnings from their hotel staff.
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