Vlogger posts apology video for breaking Hawaii quarantine

HONOLULU (AP) — A YouTube vlogger who was arrested for violating a state quarantine rule released a court-ordered public service announcement on social media.

Mika Salamanca, 20, posted the online message that included an apology as a condition of her deferred guilty plea, KITV-TV reported Tuesday.

The video script required approval by Hawaii judicial officials before it was posted, court records said.

Salamanca was arrested July 24 on an accusation of breaking the state’s 14-day quarantine rule after arriving in Honolulu from Manila.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige, a Democrat, established a mandatory quarantine for all travelers arriving to Hawaii from outside the state as part of the effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus cases in the islands low.

The social media influencer from the Philippines said in her video she was sorry for breaking the quarantine and apologized to the people of Hawaii and her fellow Filipinos.

Her case could be a lesson for viewers to be good citizens and obey legal orders related to the coronavirus pandemic, Salamanca said. She urged people in Hawaii to wear face masks, wash their hands and practice social distancing.

The court gave her the opportunity to make the video in an attempt to clear her name, Salamanca said.

Salamanca was also ordered to pay $575 in court fees and serve six months of probation in her Alabama home. She was barred from returning to Hawaii during the pandemic.

Ige reinstated a requirement effective Tuesday for people traveling between the islands to quarantine themselves for 14 days. Travelers arriving on Oahu from the state’s other islands will not need to quarantine, but people arriving in the other counties from different islands will.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some — especially older adults and people with existing health problems — it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.

The number of infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.