New York Area Requiring 14-Day Quarantine for Travelers from States with Soaring Coronavirus Cases

The quarantine, for those coming to New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, will be voluntary and individuals will largely be trusted to self-isolate on their own, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said

Travelers headed to New York, New Jersey and Connecticut from states with spiking coronavirus cases, such as Florida and Texas, will be subject to a voluntary 14-day quarantine and steep fines if they don't self-isolate.

“We worked very hard to get the viral transmission rate down. We don’t want to see it go up because a lot of people come into this region and they can literally bring the infection with them,” New York Gov. Cuomo said during a press conference with New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont, CNBC reported. “Because what happens in New York happens in New Jersey and happens in Connecticut.”

The travel advisory — which begins at midnight on Wednesday — applies to anyone coming from a state with a transmission rate above 10 per every 100,000 people on a seven-day rolling average. New York currently has an infection rate of 4.09.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

"As of today, the states that are above that level are Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Washington, Utah, Texas,” Cuomo said. “That’s as of today. The states themselves can change as the infection rate changes and we will update daily what states are above that infection rate.”

New York confirms second coronavirus case
Eduardo Munoz / VIEWpress via Getty

Travelers will be largely trusted to self-isolate on their own. Those who don’t voluntarily quarantine for 14 days will be subject to fines and a mandatory quarantine. The fines begin at $2,000 for the first violation, $5,000 for the second and up to $10,000 if they cause harm.

It is not immediately clear how individuals will be told this information upon arriving or how the state's will be keeping track of travel records.

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The new order is a stark contrast to the coronavirus situation in the tri-state area and surrounding region three months ago. In late March, President Donald Trump even considered placing the three states under quarantine as New York became the epicenter for the virus in the U.S.

However, as of Wednesday, all three states have reported a decline in cases in the past week, while COVID-19 infections are on the rise in 27 other states.

“Nationally, we should admit the reality. Denial is not a life strategy. It never is. Those 27 states are going up. More people are being infected and more lives will be lost,” Cuomo noted during the press conference.

On Tuesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci called the new surge "disturbing" while addressing the House Energy and Commerce Committee, The New York Times reported.

"The next couple of weeks are going to be critical in our ability to address those surges we are seeing in Florida, Texas, Arizona, and other states," he said. "The virus is not going to disappear."

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