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A pair of travelers were recently arrested at Honolulu's Daniel K. Inouye International Airport for violating Hawaii's Safe Travels program by allegedly forging proof of vaccination against COVID-19.
According to USA Today, Norbert Chung, 57, and Trevor Chung, 19, were arrested on August 8 after investigators from the Department of the Attorney General received a tip from a community member prior to their arrival in the islands. The two men face up to one year in jail and up to $5,000 in fines.
"The Department of the Attorney General will investigate and prosecute those who cheat the Safe Travels program, which was established to keep our islands safe," spokesperson Gary Yamashiroya said in a statement. The program allows travelers coming from the United States and its territories to bypass the state's mandatory 10-day quarantine requirement by providing proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test result uploaded no more than 72 hours before the final leg of their trip.
"We've been pretty aggressive in enforcing and prosecuting those violators that we have become aware of," Hawaii Gov. David Ige said during a news conference on Tuesday. "We have pursued quarantine violations. We do have a case where we had travelers forging vaccination records that we've filed charges against."
Earlier this year, In February, a pair of tourists were arrested after attempting to bribe an airport screening agent into allowing them to skip quarantine upon landing in Honolulu.
"Just one individual faking his or her proof of vaccination can put hundreds or thousands of people at risk by introducing COVID-19 into an environment, while simultaneously derailing operations for colleges and universities, businesses, and travel," according to Brett Martin, CEO of CastleBranch, a Wilmington, North Carolina-based infectious disease screening and compliance management company.
A Maryland native and wanderer who has lived across the U.S. from North Carolina to SoCal, Patrick Clarke graduated from Towson...
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