You Could Be Fined $10,000 For Violating New York’s Travel Ban
New Yorkers coming back from some states and others traveling into New York could face large fines for violating the new travel advisory.
On Wednesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a joint travel advisory with New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and Connecticut Gov Ned Lamont. Anyone traveling from states with significant community spread of COVID-19 into New York, New Jersey or Connecticut must quarantine for 14 days.
"We worked really hard to get the viral transmission rate down, and we don't want to see it go up," Cuomo added.
He also confirmed if a New Yorker travels to a state with a high infection rate, they must also quarantine for 14 days.
The quarantine applies to all states with a COVID-19 infection rate of over 10 percent of the total population or with 10 people for every 100,000 infected. Both are based on a rolling seven-day average, Cuomo said.
The states will continue to update which states the advisory applies to. As of Thursday, the travel ban, which went into effect at midnight, applies to Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Washington, Utah, and Texas.
"I think it's right, I think it's smart and I'm glad that we're doing this together," Cuomo said. "It's just common sense. It's the spirit of community. We don't want to see the infection rate increase hereafter what we've gone through."
It's not fully clear how the states will enforce the travel advisory. But in New York, Cuomo says police will be looking for and pulling over vehicles with out-of-state license plates. Hotel staff are also being asked to question guests about the quarantine order.
"In New York, we went from the highest number of cases to some of the lowest rates in the country - no one else had to bend the curve as much as we did and now we have to make sure that the rate continues to drop in our entire region," Cuomo said. "We've worked very hard to get the viral transmission rate down and we don't want to see it go up again because people are traveling into the state and bringing it with them."
The tri-state measure will use uniform parameters and messaging on highways, airports, websites and social media across the three states, officials say. The three states will also ask hotels to communicate the 14-day quarantine to guests who have traveled from one of the impacted states.
"A quarantine doesn’t stop people. It’s not that you ever prohibited someone from entering a state. That is not a quarantine. That is a blockade," Cuomo said.
Melissa DeRosa, the Secretary to Gov. Cuomo, added during Wednesday's briefing the federal government regulates airports.
Anyone found violating the quarantine will be subject to a judicial order, placed in a mandatory quarantine and fined, Cuomo added.
“You violate the quarantine, you will have to do mandatory quarantine, and you will be fined," Cuomo said.
According to Cuomo, a person found violating the order could be fined $2,000 for the first violation, $5,000 for a second violation and $10,000 if the person causes "harm."
"This is not a polite recommendation, this is a strong advisory built on the back of the healthcare professionals," Cuomo said. "We are asking folks to take on a big amount of personal responsibility here, to do the right thing for themselves as well as for their families, communities and the rest of us."