Coronavirus: New York City to set up checkpoints for travelers

Coronavirus: New York City to set up checkpoints for travelers
FILE PHOTO: Travelers from states with surging coronavirus infection rates coming into New York City will have to register at key entry points and quarantine for at least two weeks. (Victor J. Blue/Getty Images)

NEW YORK CITY — Travelers from states with surging coronavirus infection rates coming into New York City will have to register at key entry points and quarantine for at least two weeks.

The measure overlaps with a state order Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday, the Queens Post reported

“New York State was right to put a 14-day mandatory quarantine in place,” de Blasio said Wednesday. “We need to make sure that quarantine becomes stronger every day, that that law comes to life more every day.”

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A state order, in place since June, requires travelers from 34 states and Puerto Rico to fill out a traveler form and quarantine at least 14 days upon arrival. Travelers who leave the airport without completing the form could be fined $2,000. Travelers who do not follow quarantine requirements could face up to $10,000 in fines. However, enforcement of these efforts has been questioned, The New York Times reported

"We cannot go back to the hell we experienced just a few months ago — and surging infection rates across the country threaten to bring us back there — so we must all remain vigilant," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement Tuesday.

The “traveler registration checkpoints” will be randomly set up on roads leading to bridges and tunnels leading into the city, the Times Hearld-Record reported. However, law enforcement will not be stopping every car at the checkpoints, rather sheriff’s deputies will educate travelers of quarantine orders and other rules. City officials said law enforcement would not issue citations or summons for other legal violations except under extreme circumstances, The New York Times reported

There will be outreach centers at Penn Station and the Port Authority Bus Terminal and digital signs at entry points, The New York Times reported.

“(The) important thing is that the checkpoints I think, are going to send a very powerful message that this quarantine law is serious and important and crucial and people have to follow it,” de Blasio said. “So, even if we’re not going to be able to reach every single person with a checkpoint, I think it’s going to help really get the message across.”