Travelers who violate quarantine rules could face stiff fines, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday.
De Blasio and the city's sheriff laid out enforcement plans of public health safety guidelines for this Thanksgiving holiday. The plan includes vehicle checkpoints at bridges and crossings and at dropoff bus stations carrying out-of-state travelers.
“We’re going to make sure that people are reminded constantly throughout this whole holiday season that if you travel, there are very clear rules you have to follow,” de Blasio said. “You're going to see the presence in the city of New York when you travel particularly through our sheriff’s office.”
Teams from the Test and Trace Corps and the sheriff’s office will be stationed at travel hubs to alert travelers of the city’s quarantine policy, which gives you the option to “test out” if you receive a negative COVID-10 test both before and after arriving in the city. Otherwise, the quarantine is 14 days. The sheriff’s office will follow up after your arrival via various measures including phone calls, texts, robocalls, and in-person spot checks.
A self-test site at Penn Station is one of those that’s been added as a convenient way for train travelers to get tested upon arrival.
Chelsea resident Diego Cook lined up on Tuesday, to take a test as a precaution before flying out to Florida on Thursday morning.
“My family is being very careful in Florida. Although the positivity rate is high there they are being careful,” Cook said.
According to Cook, he wasn't the only one trying to get tested before leaving town.
He said that he ran into long lines at other testing centers, which have already seen an increase in people seeking tests over the last several weeks.
“Yesterday, someone said this is a very quick and seamless place to get tested. So I came here,” Cook said.
If you’re found in violation of quarantine orders, deputy sheriffs will issue a mandatory quarantine order issued by the health commissioner. A violation of the mandatory order can result in fines ranging from $1,000 to $2,000.
“No one likes that,” said de Blasio. “No one wants to do that on the holidays, but we will do it to keep people safe.”
The city will primarily focus on large-scale gatherings including illegal fight clubs, gambling dens and underground raves, according to NYC Sheriff Joseph Fucito.
De Blasio said the sheriff won't be breaking up family gatherings.