HAWAII, USA — Hawaiian officials have snagged a Mainer in one of the nation's strictest COVID-19 coronavirus quarantine mandates.
Special Agents from the Hawaiian Attorney General's Investigations Division arrested 38-year-old Sean Michael Simon of Bangor on charges he violated Hawaii's mandatory 14-day traveler quarantine mandate.
Since March, travelers — residents and tourists — arriving in Hawaii must quarantine for 14 days. Gov. David Ige has extended the mandate through the end of July. Some tourists and one resident have been arrested on suspicion of violating the quarantine.
The quarantine has helped Hawaii maintain relatively low infection rates compared to other parts of the U.S.
According to a post on the official Hawaiian Coronavirus website, the general manager of a Waikīkī area hotel reported a guest, Simon, had been seen on surveillance video, leaving the hotel on several occasions after his June 10 arrival.
Simon told officials he shopped and went to the beach during his time out of the hotel.
Simon's arrest comes on the heels of more strict Hawaiian enforcement.
Twenty-one people had recently arrived in Hawaii, describing themselves as a family with a leader, were arrested and charged with violating the State's mandatory 14-day quarantine put in place in an attempt to protect the islands from the spread of the coronavirus, police said.
They all arrived over two days earlier this month from Los Angeles, Hawaii County police Lt. Rio Amon-Wilkins said Friday, June 12. Some of them indicated on quarantine forms and travel declarations that they would be vacationing, while most of them reported that they intended to move to Hawaii, he said.
According to the State's website, "The 14-day mandatory self-quarantine applies to all arrivals at state airports, including private and commercial aircraft. All arriving passengers are required to initial and sign this order confirming they are aware of the 14-day quarantine and acknowledging they understand violating the order is a criminal offense and subject to up to a $5,000 fine and/or a year imprisonment. The period of self-quarantine begins from the time of entry into the State and lasts 14 days or the duration of the person's time in Hawaii, whichever is shorter."
Bangor's Simon spent the weekend in jail on $2,000 bail. During his arraignment this past Monday morning, Simon pleaded out.
Hawaiian officials immediately took Simon to the airport and sent him to Maine with a one-way ticket, paid for by the Visitor Aloha Society of Hawai'i.
At NEWS CENTER Maine, we're focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the illness. To see our full coverage, visit our coronavirus section, here: /coronavirus
NEWS CENTER Maine Coronavirus Coverage
NEWS CENTER Maine YouTube Coronavirus Playlist