If you’re coming into NYC from any of the thirty five “high COVID infection rate” states — please don’t.
But if you have to, know that NYC is asking you to self-quarantine for two weeks, as well as complete a traveler’s form. This is all in support of the city’s contact tracing efforts, designed to stem the tide of new COVID cases.
Thus far, the program to stop incoming vehicles has only been operating on Staten Island, led by the Richmond County Sheriff’s Department. Thus far, vehicles have been stopped at the Goethals Bridge and Outerbridge Crossing, and the Bayonne Bridge has also been a site that the sheriff’s office is checking.
Digital signage has already been placed along roadsides at all entry points into the city.
Mayor Bill de Blasio stated that the checkpoints will expand to “key entry points into New York City,” in a press release this week. This means the major crossings into NYC, the bridges and tunnels providing vehicular access into the city.
The Mayor’s Public Engagement Unit also began its task of educating travelers coming into the city by rail, setting up shop at Penn Station earlier this week.
Privately run tourism and transportation companies are also getting in on the act, informing their patrons of the need to fill out the online form.
Mayor de Blasio was firm on his commitment to keeping our COVID numbers down, “New York City is holding the line against COVID-19, and New Yorkers have shown tremendous discipline. We’re not going to let our hard work slip away and will continue to do everything we can to keep New Yorkers safe and healthy.”
Sheriff Joseph Fucito is taking the task of his department seriously as well. Sheriff Fucito had this to say on the matter, “The DOF Sheriff’s Office in coordination with other law enforcement agencies will undertake traveler registration checkpoints at major bridge and tunnel crossings into New York City. As Sheriff, I understand the absolute serious nature of this pandemic as well as this decided course of action. The entire team will strive to ensure the deployment balances the critical public health and welfare needs of the residents of the city with the legal protections entitled to all people.”
Failure to quarantine is punishable by a $10,000 fine, a violation of New York State law. So far, all inbound travelers have cooperated with the city’s request to fill out a travel form. However, anyone choosing to forego compliance may be hit with a $2,000 fine.
Essential and non-essential workers are subject to different actions under the State law. Non-essential workers must stay at their residence or hotel room and may only leave to seek medical attention to acquire food and other essential goods. No one is allowed into the quarantined residence or hotel room, except for caregivers. Non-essential workers are also asked to self-monitor for COVID symptoms and seek testing, and care, when appropriate.
Essential workers must self-quarantine only if showing symptoms. They must also limit contact with others for two weeks, except insofar as is necessary to perform their essential work. If they’re staying longer than 36 hours, essential workers must get tested.
The following is a list of states and U.S. territories that are considered high infection areas, and anyone traveling into the city from any of these places must comply with all requirements for filling out forms and a two week quarantine, if necessary: Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin.