A US district judge has ruled that Hawai‘i’s 14-day quarantine order set as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic is reasonable.
A lawsuit filed in June by Hawai‘i, California and Nevada residents claimed Gov. David Ige’s order was unconstitutional and violated their rights to travel. On July 2, US District Court Judge Jill Otake denied the plaintiffs’ request for temporary injunctive relief from the state’s 14-day quarantine order.
Otake disagreed with the plaintiffs’ assertions, stating Ige successfully demonstrated the emergency proclamation has a real or substantial relation to the public health crisis caused by the coronavirus.
“Judge Otake asked a lot of important and thoughtful questions during the hearing and this decision is good for the State of Hawai‘i,” stated Krishna F. Jayaram special assistant to the attorney general. “Our department will continue to wholeheartedly defend the Governor’s Emergency Proclamation.”
The quarantine mandate, which applies to out-of-state travelers and Hawai‘i residents, doesn’t prevent people from traveling and the plaintiffs “have elected not to travel — whether to or from Hawaii — because they do no want to be quarantined,” Jill Otake said in a ruling issued Thursday night denying a request for a temporary restraining order, according to a Hawai‘i News Now report.
As of Friday, the Hawai‘i Department of Health reported 29 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the statewide total to 975. State officials also reported the 19th COVID-19 death today of an elderly adult on O‘ahu who was hospitalized with multiple underlying health issues.
“The plaintiffs’ theory that no emergency exists here or throughout the United States is contradicted by the record and readily available information,” court documents state. “With the lifting of restrictions in Hawai‘i, COVID-19 cases have increased. And across the country, there is a resurgence in cases following the loosening of restrictions.”
The mandatory 14-day quarantine is slated to be lifted on July 31. Ige announced last month the state’s plan to allow travelers to be exempt from a quarantine starting Aug. 1 if they have a negative COVID-19 test 72 hours prior to flying.