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COVID-19: State Raises Fine For Those Failing To Social Distance

The maximum fine for those failing to social distance in New York has been raised to $1,000. Photo Credit: ny.gov
This chart shows how social distancing can dramatically reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Photo Credit: Statista

Those who fail to practice proper social distancing protocols in New York State during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic will now face steeper fines, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced.

As the number of cases rose statewide to 130,689, Cuomo announced that the maximum fines for those failing to social distance will be increased from $500 to $1,000.

“The real danger is in getting overconfident too quickly. Other places have made that mistake in Hong Kong and South Korea, and we see what happened there,” he said. “Now that the weather is turning, people have been locked up a long time, and it’s a nice day and you want to get out there.”

Cuomo said that he wants local governments to more strictly enforce social distancing law, stating that “we don’t want the money, we want the compliance.”

“We’re serious about this. It’s not about your life. You don’t have the right to risk anyone else’s health,” he added. “We want local governments to enforce social distancing rules. I want to be more aggressive with enforcement because the evidence shows that people are violating it now more than ever before.

“You don’t have the right to risk healthcare staff and people who are literally putting their lives on the line. You can’t be that cavalier or negligent with someone else’s life.”

Cuomo added that by raising the fine, the state government was doing its part, now it is up to local governments to begin cracking down.

“If I can’t get you to show the discipline (to socially distance) for yourself, then do it for everyone else,” Cuomo said. “You put a burden on all sorts of people you don’t know and don’t have the right to burden them with your irresponsibility.

"I understand it’s partially the weather, and people have been locked up a long time, but now is not the time to be lax, and it is a mistake.”

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