Man accused of flouting quarantine called ‘covidiot’

HONOLULU (AP) — A mayor in Hawaii is calling a Florida man accused of trying to flout Hawaii’s traveller quarantine a “covidiot”.

Kauai Mayor Derek Kawakami isn’t taking credit for coining the word borne from the COVID-19 pandemic, but said he “may be the first elected official to bust it out in public.”

Bobby Edwards, of Boynton Beach, was arrested last week after police said he landed on the island without proof of having accommodations set up. A statewide order requires people arriving in the islands to quarantine for 14 days.

Edwards “was exhibiting belligerent behaviour toward airport personnel and toward officers during his arrest”, police said.

Police added that Edwards, 31, “was also showing significant signs of intoxication and was not being cooperative”.

Earlier last week, another Florida man, Dwight Anthony Tucker of Tampa, was stopped in the tourist town of Hanalei a day after he arrived on Kauai, police said.

He was arrested after authorities said he disregarded Governor David Ige’s statewide order requiring all visitors arriving on or after March 26 to self-quarantine at their place of accommodation.

Also last week, Kauai police arrested Devin Martin of Olympia, Washington, and accused him of violating the quarantine order.

“He did not have reservations for proper accommodations and he allegedly refused to find suitable lodging,” police said.

None of the three men could be immediately reached for comment.

The arrests send a message Kauai is fighting to protect its residents, Kawakami said.

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