More visitors sent home; 1 arrest over weekend
A Lahaina woman was arrested last week and six visitors agreed to return to the Mainland over the weekend, as enforcement continued of the mandatory 14-day quarantine for those arriving on Maui.
Jennifer Altman, 39, was arrested at about 12:30 p.m. Thursday after investigation of a complaint left on the Maui Visitors Bureau hotline that she had recently returned to Maui and wasn’t abiding by the mandatory quarantine rules to prevent the spread of COVID-19, police said.
There were several accounts that Altman had been seen leaving her residence in violation of the quarantine, police said. She was arrested and charged with two counts of violating public health emergency rules and one count of unsworn falsification to officers. She was released after posting $6,000 bail.
Maui police spokeswoman Lt. Audra Sellers said most visitors have voluntarily agreed to leave after being contacted by police about violating the quarantine.
Over the weekend, she said six people from Texas and the West Coast agreed to leave because of quarantine violations. Five of the people were in a group traveling together, she said. The other person was traveling with someone who decided to stay, she said.
Sellers said people are educated about the quarantine and warned before facing a citation or arrest.
“We’re asking for their voluntary compliance, and hopefully, they do,” she said. “We will send people back if we need to. We will enforce the rules and orders.”
People can report violations of the 14-day traveler quarantine rule by calling the hotline at (808) 468-9952 or the police nonemergency number at 244-6400.
As of Monday, police had issued 907 citations since March 20 for violations of public health emergency rules. The number of citations increased slightly over the weekend to a total of 24, as more people were out at beaches, Sellers said. She reminded people that beaches are open for exercise only and that lounging or sitting on the beach isn’t allowed.
There has been an increase in people congregating at beaches and sun tanning, Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino said at his daily briefing Monday.
“Beaches are open only for exercise purposes,” he said.
Police are continuing beach patrols and are working with the Hawaii National Guard, National Park Service and state Department of Land and Natural Resources, as well as sheriff’s deputies and county park rangers.
* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at email@example.com.