Trying to keep further outbreaks of the coronavirus at bay, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Monday that he was toughening the state's quarantine policy for visitors arriving from 19 other states. As part of the new policy, which amplify the restrictions the governor (as well as his counterparts in New Jersey and Connecticut) put in place three weeks ago, enforcement teams will be stationed at airports around the state, handing out declaration forms to arriving passengers, notifying them they must provide contact information and then self-quarantine for 14 days.
According to the statement issued by the governor's office, "Travelers who leave the airport without completing the form will be subject to a $2,000 fine and may be brought to a hearing and ordered to complete mandatory quarantine." Travelers coming to New York from designated states through other means of transport, like trains and cars, must also register with the state by filling out the form online.
Among the 19 restricted states are those that have seen a sudden spike in new coronavirus cases, including California, Texas, Arizona, Georgia and Florida. On Sunday, Florida recorded 15,299 new Covid-19 cases, the highest number of new cases in a single day by any state since the coronavirus pandemic began back in early March. The previous record had been held by New York. Officials estimate that roughly 12,000 people visit New York daily from the 19 states currently on the quarantine list. You can find the full list of restricted states here.
As Gov. Cuomo pointed out in a press conference on Monday, New York has been among the most successful states in controlling the virus and he said was determined to maintain that progress. "We can't be in a situation where we have people coming from other states in the country bringing in the virus again," Cuomo told reporters. (This weekend, New York City, which was long the epicenter of the pandemic, went 24 hours without a single COVID-19 death, the first time it has done so March 11.)
Of course, the 14-day quarantine is largely voluntary and self-policed. Will it work? health officials are skeptical. "I think it’s going to be incredibly hard to keep the virus out of New York State,” Isaac Weisfuse, a former New York City deputy health commissioner, told The New York Times. “I think that these types of travel restrictions may be somewhat helpful, but we should assume that they’re not going to be airtight.”