The number of visitors arriving in Hawaii increased to the highest amount Saturday since the state’s mandatory quarantine for air travelers took effect in March.
The Hawaii Tourism Authority reported today that 384 visitors arrived Saturday, surpassing the previous peak of 363 visitors who arrived Thursday. Saturday’s visitor count amounted to about 34% of the 1,117 air travelers who landed in Hawaii that day.
The number of visitors by air has been creeping up over the past month, but still remains way below the 30,000 passengers — mostly visitors — who were arriving in the islands daily at this time last year.
Gov. David Ige issued a mandatory 14-day quarantine for arriving passengers that took effect on March 26 to depress tourism and stop the spread of the coronavirus. That order has been extended through June 30.
Saturday’s arrivals included 287 returning residents, 113 crew members, 122 people transiting on to other destinations, 115 people relocating to Hawaii, and 78 military members. Another 18 passengers were exempt from the traveler quarantine after receiving prior approval from the state.
Oahu welcomed the bulk of all the passengers, or about 90% of them. Seventy-two went to Kona and 30 went to Lihue. Maui did not receive any air passengers Saturday.
Of the 323 visitors who traveled to Oahu Saturday, 227 of them, or about 70%, said on the Hawaii Department of Transportation’s new mandatory travel declaration form that they were coming to the islands to visit friends and family.
Thirty-eight said they were coming for business, and 20 said the purpose of their trip was only to vacation. Twenty-four said they were coming for a vacation combined with some other reason, such as for business or visiting family and friends.
State officials have been tracking down visitors who arrive in Hawaii and violate the state quarantine. Special agents with the state Attorney General’s office arrested 15 quarantine violators along with county police departments who have arrested additional suspects. One of those alleged violators include 20-year-old Artyon Zhiryada, of Happy Valley, Ore., who was arrested Friday while leaving a Waikiki condominium.
He allegedly violated the state’s quarantine after arriving in Honolulu on May 16. In addition, he was charged with animal cruelty after he posted a video of himself shooting a chicken with a spear gun in a parking lot. His bail was set at $4,500.
Attorney General Clare Connors warned returning residents and arriving visitors that they will face consequences for violating coronavirus emergency rules.
“Please do the right thing and if you cannot abide by the 14-day quarantine, postpone your trip to the Aloha State until the quarantine ends,” Connors said in a statement. She said abiding by the quarantine will be “for your own safety and the safety of everyone else.”