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COVID-19: Police Will Be On Lookout For Quarantine Violators In New York, Cuomo Warns

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, and Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont announced that travelers entering the region from states with high COVID-19 rates will face a mandatory 14-day quarantine.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, and Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont announced that travelers entering the region from states with high COVID-19 rates will face a mandatory 14-day quarantine. Photo Credit: ny.gov

Police agencies in New York will be strictly enforcing the newly imposed quarantine rules for travelers coming from states with high rates of novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

This week, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut announced that that travelers coming from select states into the metro region will be subjected to a 14-day quarantine to help ensure there isn’t a new spike in COVID-19 cases.

According to Johns Hopkins, New York currently has the lowest seven-day average infection rate in the country, after being a hotbed for the virus when the pandemic first came to the United States from China and Europe.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that there will be measures taken to ensure that visitors coming from the states with high COVID-19 rates, including random checks.

“There will be random checks. You get pulled over by a police officer, and he looks at where your residence is and he’ll question ‘how long have you been here,’” he said this week. “If you get sick and go to a hospital, and you’re from out of state, and you test positive, and you've (traveled here) within the past 14 days, you’ve violated the law, you're going to have a problem.”

Cuomo said that each state and local police agencies will be tasked with enforcing the 14-day quarantine mandate, and that violators will be subject to a judicial order, as well as fines of $2,000 for a first offense, $5,000 for a second offense, and $10,000 thereafter.

States currently with an infection rate that will require a 14-day quarantine:

  • Alabama;
  • Arkansas;
  • Florida;
  • North Carolina;
  • South Carolina;
  • Washington;
  • Utah;
  • Texas.

On Friday, June 26, Cuomo said he is also in talks with airlines to see if they will permit the state to conduct temperature tests to screen passengers as they get off flights in New York.

Cuomo said that the Port Authority will be making travel records available to help screen travelers from the states in question.

“You can argue that every law is by the honor system until you get caught,” Cuomo said when discussing those who may fail to quarantine. “You can speed in a car until you get caught, then you get penalized.

“You can violate the quarantine … until you get caught. Then when you get caught you’re going to be placed in a mandatory quarantine and fined thousands of dollars. So yeah, you can break the law and you don’t get caught you’re fine.” 

Cuomo said that the states will continue to review the data each day, and that list could be updated daily.

“It’s common sense. It’s the spirit of community,” he said. “If you’re in a place with a high infection rate … we get that, and we’ll help you in any way we can, but we don’t want to see the infection rate go up here after what we’ve gone through.”

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