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NY, NJ, CT to quarantine visitors from states with high coronavirus infection rates

Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks to reporters Wednesday.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office
Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks to reporters Wednesday.

People traveling to New York, New Jersey or Connecticut from states with high infection rates of the coronavirus, like Florida and Texas, will be required to quarantine themselves for 14 days, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday.

The three states, Cuomo said, are attempting to avoid a situation where people traveling from those states bring a new wave of COVID-19 to the region.

As of Wednesday, Cuomo said, travelers coming from Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Washington, Utah, and Texas will be quarantined upon arrival. That list will change over time.

New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut will use a formula to determine which states, going forward, will remain on the list.

Individuals will be required to quarantine if they’re coming from a state where at least 10 people out of 100,000 test positive for the disease on a seven-day rolling average, or a state where 10% of the total population has tested positive on a seven-day rolling average.

People traveling from those states will be required to self-quarantine themselves, meaning they won’t be met with law enforcement or state officials upon entry.

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But if they’re found by members of law enforcement, or reported by members of the public, to have violated that order to self-quarantine, they may be placed into a mandatory quarantine through an order by a judge, Cuomo said.

“Any of those mechanisms, you can be detected as violating your quarantine. If you're violating your quarantine, you can be subject to a judicial order and mandatory quarantine,” Cuomo said.

New York doesn’t have the authority to confront travelers flying in from other states, said Melissa DeRosa, secretary to the governor. That’s within the federal government’s jurisdiction.

“The airports and the airways are regulated by the federal government,” DeRosa said. “This is as far as we can go.”

The travel advisory will take effect at midnight tonight, Cuomo said. It will remain in effect until further notice.