People traveling to New York from states with high rates of Covid-19 infection face hefty fines if they don’t report where they’ve been or provide contact information before they leave the airport, Gov. Andrew M. Cumo announced Monday.
Texas and Florida are among the states with high rates. Visitors who fail to meet requirements face a $2,000 fine starting Tuesday. Violators face a hearing and could be ordered to go into mandatory quarantine.
Airlines have all pledged to help make passengers aware of the new requirement using pre-flight emails, pre-flight announcements, in-flight announcements and other methods, the governor said. While enforcement is focused on airports, travelers coming to New York from designated states through other means of transport, including trains and cars, must fill out the DOH traveler form online.
The travel restrictions were first announced on June 24 with New York, New Jersey and Connecticut requiring all individuals traveling from states with significant community spread of COVID-19 quarantine for a 14-day period from the time of last contact within the identified state. Nineteen states currently meet the criteria for required quarantine.
“New York’s success in fighting the COVID-19 virus is under two threats: lack of compliance and the virus coming to New York from other states with increasing infection rates,” Cuomo said. “We have already implemented a quarantine order for travelers coming in from states with the highest infection rates, but we are experiencing non-compliance with the order that can lead to outbreaks and threaten the tremendous progress we’ve already made. The State Department of Health is going to issue an emergency health order today mandating that out-of-state travelers complete the DOH traveler form before leaving the airport, and we are launching an enforcement operation at airports across the state to help ensure travelers coming into New York are following this order.”
Enforcement teams stationed at Port Authority airports will be comprised of peace officers from state agencies and will be supplemented by State Department of Health staff and supported by Port Authority police officers.The enforcement teams will meet arriving aircraft at gates and greet disembarking passengers to request proof of completion of the State DOH traveler form. The Port Authority will facilitate the physical set up of enforcement area with proper queuing and social distancing measures taken.
Regional airports, including MacArthur on Long Island, and Westchester, Albany, Syracuse, Rochester, Buffalo and Niagara Falls Airports will have enforcement teams on site daily based on daily arrivals from impacted states. Elmira, Ogdensburg and Plattsburgh Airports will have enforcement teams on site based on non-daily arrivals from impacted states. Each airport will facilitate the physical set up of enforcement area with proper queuing and social distancing measures taken.