Last week, Hawaii lawmakers threw out some interesting quarantine enforcement ideas. Well, it appears one of those ideas is being implemented as most Hawaii hotels begin issuing one-time use keys.
As you all know, Hawaii has a 14-day quarantine rule for ANYONE arriving in the state. Despite this, many visitors continue to arrive. In fact, as much as 300+ visitors make their way to the islands every day. And, as one can guess, many are breaking those quarantine rules. Especially since the rule prohibits visitors from leaving their rooms at all – even for food, though deliveries are ok.
Of course, on top of the quarantine rules, many attractions, beaches, parks, and hotels are closed. In fact, only 100 hotels remain open around the state. And these hotels are not places like Westin Hapuna. So, yeah. Why?
Single-Use Hotel Keys
To help enforce the quarantine rules, the Hawaii Tourism Authority is asking hotels to voluntarily issue one-time use room keys. And, most are complying with the request, according to Hawaii News Now. An exact figure, however, isn’t available.
While this practice is a bit draconian, it makes sense to me. Guests can enter their room, but can’t leave. If they do leave, they’ll need to request a new key, at which point, hotel staff will be alerted to this. The hotel staff can then contact law enforcement officials, which will go to the hotel and arrest those suspected of breaking the quarantine.
Even before this, by the way, hotel staff were actively tracking their guests. In fact, their efforts have already lead to dozens of arrests. Further, residents living around vacation rentals are actively reporting quarantine violators there too.
Most Hawaii Hotels Begin Issuing One-Time Use Keys, Final Thoughts
Hawaii leads the US in controlling the spread of COVID-19. Heck, this past Friday was the first day since the outbreak began in which there were no new cases reported. And, on average, our number of daily new cases remains in the single digits. So, making sure we protect our population against newly imported cases is important. Especially since the islands other than Oahu have very limited medical resourses, and Hawaii overall has an aging population. So, please kokua, and stay away from Hawaii for now.
Ankle Bracelet says
A vaccine isn’t coming for a long time. One new coronavirus reported yesterday and the unemployment rate is 34% (one of the highest in the nation). How long can you have an unemployment rate of 34%?? Keep treating the tourists who put a roof over your head and food on your table like criminals. What’s next, ankle bracelets? Oh, hold on, they already thought of that. Just more proof the “Aloha Spirit” is just a farce…
Island Miler says
While you’re right that our economy won’t get better until we welcome tourists back like normal, to say the Aloha Spirit is a farce is untrue. Yes, Hawaii has lost its way a bit in the past decade or so, but the Aloha Spirit is a two-way street. If visitors show no aloha, and do the exact opposite by endangering our residents, desecrating cultural sites, harassing endangered wildlife, then we will be forced to act accordingly. Heck, a group of visitors were arrested over the weekend for illegally entering a closed hike – Sacred Falls. The area is geologically unstable and is a danger to all. But, of course, they don’t care. And, in fact, they were violating quarantine rules too. Also, remember that Hawaii has high percentage of elderly residents. We need to protect our kupuna, or we’re in a lot of trouble.
Not going to vacation someplace where you sit in your hotel room under house arrest for 14 days and then fly home. Agreed tourists can be jerks, but they won’t be coming to Hawaii for long if all they see if the four walls of a hotel room.
Island Miler says
Well, that’s kind of the point. Hawaii’s government is taking all of these steps to discourage people from vacationing here – at least for now. A lot needs to happen before we can allow our normal flow of visitors to return. Put it this way, these measures protect our visitors as much as they protect our residents. Can you imagine if infected tourists came from outside of the US and infected a bunch of other tourists from within? And it’s that kind of infection that, not only threatens to cause lockdowns around the country again, but also creates a negative image of Hawaii; that it’s unsafe to visit here because you’ll get sick. So, the better option right now appears to be to say stay away or else.
A couple weeks ago I suggested to my Senator Donna Mercado Kim and also to the Mayors office that no room keys be issued to guests until after 14 days. My premise was exactly for the reasons that were stated. I believe this is the result of my idea.