As Hawaii slowly opens its economy in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, most residents continue to be cautious about experiencing the services and activities available to them.
A statewide survey by SMS Research & Marketing Service Inc. released Tuesday found a plurality of respondents — 46% — having visited shopping centers; a much more wait-and-see attitude was expressed toward other services and activities such as hair salons, sit-down restaurants and gyms.
Also on Tuesday, Hawaii had 18 new coronavirus cases, bringing the statewide number of infections since the start of the outbreak to 917; and two Oahu men who recently returned from out-of-state trips were arrested for allegedly violating Hawaii’s mandatory 14-day quarantine, officials said.
The SMS survey, taken June 11-17, showed that younger people appear to be less cautious overall.
A greater number of people 18 to 34 years of age said they visited shopping centers and the beach, the survey found, while those in that age group indicated a stronger desire to immediately change the government’s coronavirus restrictions compared with older residents.
Overall, 6 out of 10 residents said they were “waiting to see what happens” before going to a sit-down restaurant, the survey found.
Of those who patronize gyms, only 6% said they returned for their workouts, and only 27% said they visited a hair salon or barbershop. Some 46% of those who say they go to shopping malls have returned, while 39% said they were still waiting to see what happens.
A total of 401 people were surveyed by SMS in June, resulting in a 5% margin of error. SMS said the data was balanced to reflect the adult population of the state using 2018 U.S. census data.
The survey also asked about people’s travel plans and how those plans were affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
Prior to the outbreak, 6 out of 10 Hawaii adults planned to travel, according to the survey. Now only 3 of 10 plan to travel for leisure over the next two years.
International travel apparently will be affected the most, with only a quarter of those who planned to travel taking an international trip in the next two years.
Planned interisland trips are expected to be completed this year, according to the survey, but only a third of mainland travelers will take their journeys by the end of 2020.
The two Oahu men who were arrested for allegedly violating Hawaii’s mandatory 14-day quarantine were identified as Michael J. “Kilomana” Danner, 61, of Kaneohe and Darrel A.S. Ramirez, 29, of Mililani.
Deputy sheriffs initially arrested Danner on June 18 at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport after he refused to complete a mandatory travel form and order for self-quarantine.
Investigators with the Department of the Attorney General said Danner then posted statements on social media vowing to defy the state’s quarantine laws. He also posted his activities on his wife’s social media accounts.
Special agents served Danner twice with orders to quarantine at his home, but he continued to defy them, officials said. On Monday, agents followed him to a woman’s home where he had been doing carpentry work for several days, and arrested him for the quarantine violation. His bail was set at $2,000.
As for Ramirez, special agents making quarantine checks said they found him Friday at a park with his son. He turned himself in three days later and was arrested, booked and charged. His bail was also set at $2,000.
To date, special agents from the Department of the Attorney General’s Investigations Division have arrested 21 returning residents and visitors since the mandatory travel quarantine started March 26.
State officials said enforcement of the quarantine will continue into August for those who don’t meet the new testing requirements.
Meanwhile, the 18 new coronavirus reported Tuesday included 15 on Oahu, one each on Kauai and Maui, and one that is pending identification of island of residency, the state Department of Health said.
Health officials said they also removed one Oahu case from the statewide count “as a result of updated information.”
In another COVID-19-related development, the state and counties have agreed to lift an emergency restriction imposed on larger commercial and recreational boating.
The change, effective immediately, allows commercial and recreational boats with a rated U.S. Coast Guard capacity of more than 10 to carry up to 50% of their capacity while still maintaining social distancing and sanitation requirements, officials said.