Last week Governor Andrew Cuomo said that local municipalities could face fines of up to $10,000 per day if they don’t crack down on COVID-19 rule violators.
He also threatened to shut down those communities where the virus is not kept under control.
The state will now have a framework for reporting local government enforcement activities related to guidelines on social distancing, mask compliance, and capacity limitations.
If local governments do not enforce these legally binding requirements, they will be in violation of the order and can be subject to fines.
“The Commissioner of Health will issue a Section 16 order to the local governments advising them that they have to step up the compliance, that it is the law and if the local governments don’t step up the compliance, they will actually be in violation of the law and they can be fined. I have asked the local governments many times to actually do the compliance,” Governor Cuomo said. “Compliance is not public education—it is enforcement. People know what the rules are and they’ve heard them every day. Local governments have to do enforcement. Whether or not it fits with their political agenda really is pointless. It’s the law and their job is to enforce the law.”