WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Johntrell White, 29, and Nadia Bailey, 28, travelers visiting Hawaii, were arrested on Friday for not following COVID protocols.
- Both did not comply with the required negative coronavirus test and 14-day quarantine in the absence of the test.
- Officials said that there were other arrests in the past, relating to violating safety measures on COVID.
Two travelers visiting Hawaii from Louisiana were arrested on Friday for not following COVID protocols and bribing a Honolulu airport screener with $3,000 for a hassle-free trip.
The money was offered so they can pass without completing any quarantines or providing the required negative coronavirus tests when they flew to Daniel K. Inouye International Airport, officials said.
The violators were identified as Johntrell White, 29, and Nadia Bailey, 28 — who both had flown back to the mainland.
According to Hawaii Attorney General’s Office and Department of Public Safety, White offered $2,000 to the airport screener to skip quarantine, and Bailey offered the same screener additional $1,000.
In Hawaii, bribery is punishable by up to 15 years in prison and bribers can be fined up to three times of the bribe amount.
“The screener alerted deputy sheriffs, who arrested them both for bribery. White and Bailey were booked and released and immediately flew back to the mainland,” the governor’s news update stated. “The attorney general’s investigation is continuing.”
Besides White and Bailey, a man from Wisconsin was also arrested on Friday. Identified as Anthony Johnson, 44, the man was accused of breaking quarantine rules for arriving without a coronavirus test. Officials said that Johnson checked in at a hotel which was not his designated quarantine facility and even attempted to swim.
All Hawaii visitors are required to show a negative coronavirus test done by a state-authorized lab within 72 hours of travel. Visiting travelers with no test are obliged to undergo a quarantine for 14 days.
There were past arrests for breaking coronavirus protocols on the island upon arrival. In December, two visitors from San Francisco, who were aware that they were infected, flew to Hawaii.
For Monday alone, 11,591 passengers arrived in Hawaii. Officials said that 6,870 of those arrivals were entering for a vacation, while 1,484 were returning residents.
Even though Hawaii needs tourism, especially in this economic slowdown, the state puts rules in place to curb the spread of the virus.