Visitors from another four states must self-quarantine for two weeks upon arriving in New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday, meaning nearly half the country is now covered by the coronavirus travel restrictions.
In a statement, Cuomo said he had added Minnesota, New Mexico, Ohio and Wisconsin to the self-quarantine advisory after infection rates in those states surpassed his administration’s thresholds.
Delaware, meanwhile, saw its infection rates decline to the degree that Cuomo said he had removed it from the list of states impacted by the advisory.
Cuomo’s announcement leaves 22 states on the self-quarantine list. Most of them are in the South and Midwest, where the virus has bounced back at unprecedented rates after states rushed to reopen their economies, in many cases at President Trump’s urging.
Cuomo said the travel restrictions are justified because, contrary to most parts of the country, New York’s coronavirus metrics are consistently trending in the right direction.
“Rising cases around the country continue to threaten our progress, which is why four new states have been added,” Cuomo said. “No one wants to go back to the hell we experienced three months ago, so please stay vigilant.”
Violating the self-quarantine order is punishable by a 2,000-dollar fine. Second offenses can result in 5,000-dollar or even 10,000-dollar fines.
The quarantine advisory expansion came as New York’s Covid-19 metrics continued to improve.
Just five New Yorkers died from the virus Monday, the lowest number since the outset of the pandemic, according to state Department of Health data. About 820 New Yorkers remained hospitalized with the virus and, out of more than 60,000 tests performed, just 1.5 per cent came back positive, the data showed.
Tuesday also marked the first day that travelers from coronavirus hot spots were required to fill out Department of Health forms upon landing at New York airports.
The forms, which can be submitted electronically, instruct travelers to provide information on where they are coming from, going to and how to contact them, along with a promise to self-quarantine. Failing to fill out the form is punishable by a 2,000-dollar fine.
In tandem with the beefed-up travel advisory enforcement, Cuomo reiterated his plea for New Yorkers to stay “vigilant.”
“I cannot be more clear: Look at what’s happening in the rest of the country – if we are not smart, if we don’t wear masks and socially distance, cases will spike,” he said.