Vacaville woman and friend arrested in Hawaii for violating COVID-19 travel rules

(KTXL) – Two women from California are sharing what happened when they were arrested in Hawaii for violating COVID-19 travel protocols.

FOX40 caught up with Vanessa Hamilton of Vacaville and her friend Ariel Catalano of Oakley as they made their way to the airport to fly back to California Monday afternoon.

According to a press release from the Maui Police Department, both Hamilton and Catalano, along with two others, were arrested last week for violating the rules and orders of the COVID-19 travel quarantine.

All transpacific travelers are required to have a negative test result before their departure for the state of Hawaii in order to bypass the 10-day quarantine.

“We’re required to have a COVID test result to fly to Maui. And we took our test, and we didn’t have our test results yet,” Catalano explained. “When we got to the airport, they weren’t very helpful at all.”

Without their results, the travelers said they were given a list of hotels where they could stay in quarantine, but just after booking a room at one of the hotels on the list, they were told that the hotel was on a different island.

“Things got out of hand, we all got in trouble. Then before we knew it, we were being cuffed and we got detained for 20 hours,” Catalano said. “We weren’t mirandized or anything, and they didn’t read us our rights.”

Catalano said no one answered their questions during the 20 hours they were detained.

“They took away two days of our vacation,” Catalano said.

Catalano said they tested three times during their vacation. All tests came back negative.

“We got our test results, as we were detained. It was kind of ironic,” Catalano said. 

But after they were released, they said they still weren’t allowed in Maui. 

“We had to fly back to Oahu, to get a new test, wait for those test results. And then we’d be able to fly back to Maui again. Even though our tests were negative,” Hamilton explained. 

They say if they had to do the trip over, they’d make sure they had their test results in hand when they initially landed at Maui.

“You have to take that stuff seriously. ‘Cause they really take it seriously out here. We weren’t taking it that serious, ’cause we knew we didn’t have COVID and we’re on vacation. We don’t mean no harm. But they take it very, very seriously,” Catalano said. 

“If you don’t have your results when you land, they’ll make you do a quarantine.” Hamilton said.