New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said the travel advisory applies to anyone coming from a state with a transmission rate above 10 per 100,000 people on a seven-day rolling average or 10 percent of the total population testing positive on a seven-day rolling average.
“We have to make sure the virus doesn’t come in on a plane,” Cuomo said.
“We worked very hard to get the viral transmission rate down, and we don’t want to see it go up,” he added.
Cuomo said each of the three states will be responsible for its own enforcement. As of Wednesday, the advisory applies to Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Washington, Utah and Texas.
Fines for not quarantining are $2,000 for the first violation, $5,000 for the second violation, and $10,000 if you cause harm, Cuomo said.
The announcement is a 180-degree flip from just a few months ago, when the tri-state area, and New York City in particular, was the epicenter of the pandemic.
Beacuse of that, Gov. Cuomo suggested travel restrictions would be forthcoming in an interview with CNN on Monday.
“I’m getting calls all day long, people from Florida (and) Texas, saying, ‘We want to be in New York because we’re afraid to be in Texas and Florida.’ That could actually increase our transmission rate,” he said.
“I would consider states with the highest transmission rate, that if somebody comes from that state to New York there’s a period of quarantine where they quarantine themselves to make sure they are not spreading it.”
Lack of national infrastructure
Even now, 19 states have no requirements for residents to wear facemasks — the simplest and cheapest layer of defense against a virus with no vaccine and no widely effective treatment.
Indeed, Gov. Cuomo has openly mocked other states that he said were acting politically rather than scientifically.
“New York went from one of the highest infection rates in the country to one of the lowest because we made decisions based on science — not politics,” he said Tuesday. “We’re seeing in other states what happens when you just reopen with no regard for metrics or data. It’s bad for public health and for the economy, and states that reopened in a rush are now seeing a boomerang.”
Still, Dr. Richard Besser, former acting director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said no state has yet effectively reopened its economy safely.
“We have to figure out how to make that transition in a successful way, or every state that reopens, even those that have done a really good job at tamping this down, are going to see pretty dramatic rises and we’re going to end up back to where we were,” Besser said.