California honeymooners were the latest to be arrested for violating Hawaii’s mandatory traveler self-quarantine.
Special agents of the state Department of the Attorney General on Thursday arrested Borice Leouskiy, 20, and Yuliia Andreichenko, 26, of Citrus Heights, Calif., and charged them under Hawaii Revised Statutes for unsworn falsification to authority and violation of the 14-day quarantine.
They were arrested after a Waikiki hotel reported that they repeatedly violated the requirements of the self- quarantine order after checking in after 10 p.m. on Wednesday. Both were raised in the Ukraine — Andreichenko is a Ukrainian national, while Leouskiy is a U.S. citizen.
According to the Hawaii COVID-19 Joint Information Center, after the Waikiki hotel front desk manager read the couple the requirements of the self-quarantine order, they said that information contradicted what they were told by airport screeners. “They also indicated they planned to visit friends and go to parks and beaches and claimed airport screeners told them that was okay. The hotel manager reiterated the rules and said the couple scoffed at him again and then left the hotel,” according to a news release.
After midnight, the couple allegedly returned to the hotel with a pizza and the hotel manager told them they weren’t allowed to be outside their room even to go buy food. According to the joint information center, the couple checked into the hotel, but refused to sign the required quarantine acknowledgement.
On Thursday morning, the couple allegedly left their room again and argued that their activities were permitted under the quarantine order.
The Attorney General’s Office was notified and investigated.
“We appreciate the vigilance and cooperation of the hotel staff, and staff at other hotels, in helping maintain the health and safety of visitors and residents.,” Attorney General Clare Connors said. “It is important that everyone flying into Hawaii at this time abide by our mandatory rules. Law enforcement (officers), in partnership with other state and county agencies and the travel industry, are continuing to monitor compliance with the mandatory self-quarantine rule.”
On March 26, Hawaii became the country’s first state to implement a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine order for incoming travelers, which was extended to interisland travelers on April 1.
Since then, only 4,638 visitors have come here for business or pleasure, well below April 2019, when 856,250 visitors came. Still, the daily average of out-of-state visitors coming to Hawaii since tourism lockdowns began in March has ticked up slightly.
Thursday’s 166 visitor count brought the 35-day average of trans-Pacific visitors to about 132 per day.
Visitors arriving without a place to quarantine are getting sent back home.
There was no word Friday on the honeymooning couple’s status, but the state has sent 28 visitors home since the Hawaii Tourism Authority and the Visitor Aloha Society of Hawaii began a COVID-19 Flight Assistance Program on April 6. The assistance program helps return travelers to their homes, even paying a portion of the cost or all of the cost of a return ticket for those that don’t have the means to leave.
“Every case is different,” said Jessica Lani Rich, VASH president and CEO. “We recently had a case where a person arrived to stay at an Airbnb and the host said they wouldn’t put them up because it was illegal. We had another where the person was here for medical services. Others have blatantly lied about having a place to stay.”
Rich said the common denominator in about 95% of the cases is cheap airfare. Some cases of noncompliance are more challenging than others.
On Tuesday, Rich said VASH had to call law enforcement to pick up 24-year-old John Ryan Adams, a Seattle visitor who had skipped out on quarantine.
Rich had placed Adams in hotel quarantine for a night after he arrived Monday without a place to stay and it was too late to return him home. Adams checked out of his hotel Tuesday morning and fled quarantine. Rich called police and he was picked up near a fast-food restaurant and taken to the airport to make his flight home.