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Tourists tried to skirt Hawaii's COVID-19 regulations by bribing airport official

Tourists tried to skirt Hawaii's COVID-19 regulations by bribing airport official
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Two tourists from Louisiana last week tried to skirt Hawaii’s COVID-19 regulations by attempting to bribe airport screeners, according to a press release from Hawaii Gov. David Ige’s (D) office on Tuesday.

The release, citing reports from the Hawaii Department of Public Safety and the attorney general’s office, said that Johntrell White, 29, and Nadia Bailey, 28, arrived at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport without valid COVID-19 exemptions or pretests.

White allegedly told an airport screener that he would give her $2,000 to pass through without having to quarantine, while Bailey allegedly said she would give the screener an additional $1,000 if she let them both pass through.

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The screener alerted deputy sheriffs, who arrested the two for bribery, according to the release. The tourists were booked and released and immediately returned to the mainland.

The release said the attorney general’s investigation into the incident is continuing.

The same day, special agents from the attorney general’s office arrested 44-year-old Anthony Johnson of Michigan trying to circumvent quarantine guidelines by not showing up to his designated quarantine place, according to the governor’s office. A hotel alerted agents that Johnson instead checked into another hotel to circumvent the quarantine rules.

Johnson was arrested just before he’d planned to go swimming, the release said. His bail was set at $2,000.

Hawaii began mandating pretravel testing on Oct. 15, under which passengers must have proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of a flight’s departure or be subject to a 10-day quarantine. Essential employees, however, can apply for an exemption.