New Yorkers Could Be Fined For Not Filling Out Form After Travel
Anyone traveling to New York from COVID-19 hotspots must now fill out a form or face a large fine.
On Monday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a travel enforcement operation will start on Tuesday at airports across the state to help ensure travelers are following the state's quarantine restrictions and to help contain the rates of COVID-19 transmission in New York.
As part of the enforcement operation, enforcement teams will be stationed at airports statewide to meet arriving planes 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.
Information on the form includes contact information and travel plans while in New York. An electronic version of the DOH traveler form is also available.
All out-of-state travelers from designated states must complete the form or be subject to a $2,000 fine and may be brought to a hearing and ordered to complete mandatory quarantine, officials say. After filling out the form travelers must still quarantine when you enter New York for 14 days.
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.
"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," 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."
Enforcement teams stationed at Port Authority airports will be comprised of peace officers from state agencies and will be supplemented by State Department of Health staff and supported by Port Authority police officers. The enforcement teams will meet arriving planes at gates and greet disembarking passengers to request proof of completion of the State DOH traveler form. The Port Authority will facilitate the physical set up of enforcement area with proper queuing and social distancing measures taken.
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.
Additionally, travelers coming to New York from designated states through other means of transport, including trains and cars, must fill out the DOH travel form online, officials say.
On June 24, Cuomo 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.
The quarantine applies to any person arriving from a state with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents over a 7-day rolling average or a state with a 10 percent or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average, officials say.
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 the number of positive cases exceeding 10 per 100,000 residents.
The full, updated list of states on the travel advisory is:
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
The travel advisory also requires any New Yorker to quarantine for 14 days after returning from a state on the quarantine list, according to Cuomo.
"A quarantine doesn’t stop people. It’s not that you ever prohibited someone from entering a state. That is not a quarantine. That is a blockade," Cuomo said.