On Monday, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a travel enforcement operation, which will commence effective immediately to help ensure travelers in New York are following quarantine restrictions.
As part of the enforcement operation, enforcement teams will be stationed at airports statewide to meet arriving aircrafts at gates and greet disembarking passengers to request proof of completion of the State Department of Health traveler form, which is being distributed to passengers by airlines prior to, and upon boarding or disembarking flights to New York State.
State DOH has also issued an emergency health order mandating that all out-of-state travelers from designated states complete the DOH traveler form upon entering New York. 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.
Airlines have all pledged to help make passengers aware of the new requirement using pre-flight emails, pre-flight announcements, in-flight announcements and other methods. Additionally, travelers coming to New York from designated states through other means of transport, including trains and cars, must fill out the DOHtraveler form online.
On June 24th, the Governor announced a joint incoming travel advisory with New Jersey and Connecticut requiring that all individuals traveling from states with significant community spread of COVID-19 quarantine for a 14-day period from the time of last contact within the identified state. Nineteen states currently meet the criteria for required quarantine based upon a seven day rolling average of positive tests in excess of 10 percent, or number of positive cases exceeding 10 per 100,000 residents. More information on the state’s travel advisory is available here.
“New York’s success in fighting the COVID-19 virus is under two threats: lack of compliance and the virus coming to New York from other states with increasing infection rates,” Governor Cuomo said. “We have already implemented a quarantine order for travelers coming in from states with the highest infection rates, but we are experiencing non-compliance with the order that can lead to outbreaks and threaten the tremendous progress we’ve already made. The State Department of Health is going to issue an emergency health order today mandating that out-of-state travelers complete the DOH traveler form before leaving the airport, and we are launching an enforcement operation at airports across the state to help ensure travelers coming into New York are following this order.”
MacArthur, Westchester, Albany, Syracuse, Rochester, Buffalo and Niagara Falls Airports will have enforcement teams on site daily based on daily arrivals from impacted states. Elmira, Ogdensburg and Plattsburgh Airports will have enforcement teams on site based on non-daily arrivals from impacted states. The enforcement teams stationed at these regional airports will be comprised of State DOH peace officers and staff supported by State Police personnel and will meet arriving aircrafts at gates and greet disembarking passengers to request proof of completion of the State DOH traveler form. Each airport will facilitate the physical set up of enforcement area with proper queuing and social distancing measures taken.