Visitors to New York City who are caught coming from states with high rates of COVID-19 could be assessed a hefty fine due to a new state quarantine order.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Wednesday (Aug. 5) that checkpoints at bridges and tunnels leading into the city will enforce the state quarantine order.
“We’re not looking to target out-of-state residents,” New York City Sheriff Joseph Fucito told The Wall Street Journal. “In fact, what we’re looking to do is educate people who’ve spent time in COVID-19 hotspots regardless of their residence.”
The order requires people coming into the city from states with high rates of coronavirus cases to self-isolate for up to 14 days. Violators could be fined up to $10,000. The mayor said checkpoints will demonstrate that the city is serious about keeping New York’s infection rates low.
The order applies to travelers from 34 states and Puerto Rico.
Last month, Gov. Andrew Cuomo joined fellow Northeast Governors Philip Murphy of New Jersey and Ned Lamont of Connecticut in adding to their states’ respective travel ban lists. The rules require anyone traveling from Alaska, Indiana, Delaware, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, Virginia and Washington to quarantine for 14 days before being allowed to travel freely in those states.
Johns Hopkins University reported that the U.S. has more than 57,000 new virus cases and that the nation’s death toll nears 157,000. The global death toll rose above 700,000 on Wednesday (Aug. 5) and total cases topped 18.5 million, with the U.S. accounting for about a quarter of that number.
Also last month, Cuomo threatened to close down restaurants that are not following social distancing rules to stem the coronavirus, CNBC reported. Cuomo, during a conference call on July 16, said of the behavior: “It’s wrong. It’s dangerous. It’s selfish. It’s unacceptable.”