AMERICA—In a new set of restrictions placed on one of the busiest cities in the world, which begin on Wednesday, August 5, Mayor Bill de Blasio is trying to keep the number of coronavirus cases in New York City to a minimum.
According to the announcement, individuals will be fined $10,000 if they violate any of the COVID-19 measures already enacted, and the city is instituting random checkpoints for anybody who flies in from another state.
The current requirement for travelers from 35 different states, including Puerto Rico, all of which have high cases of the virus, is to quarantine for 14 days. Also, anyone who flies into a New York airport has to fill out a special identification form, which details where the person came from and where they’re going before they leave the airport.
During a press briefing, de Blasio stated that the new restrictions aren’t just a reason to penalize people. “We want to educate them, we want to make sure they’re following the rules.” He went on to add, “The important thing is the checkpoints are going to send a very important message that this quarantine law is serious.”
The head of the Test and Trace Corps, Ted Long, has discovered that less than three percent of coronavirus tests have been positive over a two-month period, but that one in five are new cases coming from out-of-state travelers.
The same team that randomly tests individuals will be deployed to Penn Station to make sure travelers are filling out their travel forms after traveling on a train. De Blasio has made clear that these crackdowns could get even more strict than they already are.
In addition, the NYPD has asked civilians to help volunteer, if they have free time, in an effort to trace out-of-state travelers from Penn Station or the Port Authority, as stated in a memo issued to the public.
A portion of the memo reads, “Volunteers will be responsible to collect forms from travelers entering New York State, and reminding travelers of the mandatory self-quarantining protocols.”