ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — If you plan on traveling to states with high COVID-19 infection rates anytime soon, you may want to re-evaluate your plans.
Beginning midnight, anyone coming to New York, New Jersey and Connecticut from a state with a high infection rate will have to self-quarantine for 14 days. This includes people returning home from those high infection states and non-residents visiting the tri-state area.
“We have a calibration for the infection rate and any state that goes over the infection rate, that state will be subject to the quarantine,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.
According to the Governor’s Office, that includes states “with a positive test rate higher than ten per 100,000 residents” or a ten percent or greater “positivity rate over a seven-day rolling average.”
Governor Cuomo said, as of Wednesday, that includes the eight states of Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Utah and Texas. Washington state was also initially included but was removed from the list Wednesday night, according to a spokesperson from the Governor’s office.
The Governor’s Office said messaging of the advisory will be posted along highways and at airports. The state is also asking hotels to tell guests about the quarantine. If people are found breaking the self-quarantine, they could be subject to a judicial order of mandatory quarantine, and fines can range up to $10,000 dollars if they get someone else sick.
Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt slammed the travel advisory saying in part: “Just two months ago, Governor Cuomo in his constant quest for headlines proclaimed that any restrictions on travel for New Yorkers would be an ‘act of civil war,’ and he even threatened Rhode Island with a lawsuit for asking New Yorkers to quarantine during the height of the coronavirus outbreak in this state.”
In a WAMC radio interview with Alan Chartock, when asked what authority a governor has to tell another state resident they can’t come in, the Governor said, “The federal government threatened to blockade New York. Blockade means you deny admission to other states if you’re a resident of one state. So they wanted to blockade New York, meaning they would not allow New Yorkers to leave New York… and nobody would be allowed to enter New York. This is the federal government. I said to them ‘you will start a civil war. It is illegal. It is unconstitutional.’ Other states threatened to close their borders to New Yorkers. I said that is illegal and unconstitutional. However, a state does have the right to say as a matter of public health, you can come in here, but you can’t endanger my public health.”
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