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Utah man arrested twice in Hawaii for violating 10-day COVID quarantine rule

New York Daily News logo New York Daily News 1/14/2021 Theresa Braine

Life’s a beach — unless you’re ditching quarantine.

A Utah man is jailed, instead of sunning on the sand, in Hawaii after skipping out on quarantine not once but twice, officials in the County of Kaua’i said Monday.

Police arrested 50-year-old David Barnes of Bountiful, Utah, on Dec. 28 and then again on Jan. 5, for violating Hawaii’s 10-day quarantine emergency rules pertaining to COVID-19, authorities said. The state has been on high alert as COVID sweeps the nation. In August the state had the highest transmission rate in the nation.

a man wearing glasses: David Barnes of Bountiful, Utah © County of Kaua'i David Barnes of Bountiful, Utah

David Barnes of Bountiful, Utah (County of Kaua'i/)

Barnes arrived at Līhu’e Airport on Dec. 28 after traveling from the mainland and was told to quarantine “at an approved accommodation” for 10 days, which the state is requiring of all incoming visitors. Lacking a place to stay when he got there, Barnes reserved a spot at the Sheraton Kaua’i Coconut Beach Resort in Kapa’a, police said.

He left the airport, presumably to go straight to the hotel, as required by law. But instead he went shopping.

“As he left the Līhu’e Airport on foot, with no apparent means of transportation, Barnes reportedly walked to Costco Wholesale, in Līhu’e, where he proceeded to shop for items,” police said in a statement. “He was arrested, released on $1,000 bail and ordered to complete the quarantine.”

Instead, though, after checking into the Kaua’i Inn in Līhu’e, Barnes allegedly violated the 10-day quarantine three more times, and was rearrested on Jan. 5.

He was outed by fellow citizens for violating the Governor and Mayor’s Emergency Rules, plus one count of simple trespass, police said. He’s now being held on $11,000 bail.

Kaua’i police have to date arrested 192 people for violating quarantine emergency rules, the department said. Penalties include up to a year in jail and/or as much as $5,000 in fines.

“Kaua’i police and Hawai’i National Guard personnel continue to maintain a daily checkpoint at the Līhu’e Airport where all visitors and returning residents are required to stop after arriving on the island,” police said.

Several visitors to Hawaii have flouted safety rules, including a Bronx man who fled quarantine, a honeymooning California couple who went out for pizza and an online influencer from the Philippines was picked up in July after she filmed herself dancing inside a Hawaii store. As recently as December, yet another California couple tested positive on the mainland, then flew to Hawaii anyway.

Since November, Hawaii has required a pre-travel negative COVID test for visitors to avoid a two-week quarantine, but it wasn’t clear whether Utah man had taken one.

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