New Rule for New Yorkers Who Get COVID-19 From Outside New York
Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued a new and likely costly rule for any New Yorker who gets infected with COVID-19 from a high-risk state.
On Wednesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a joint travel advisory with New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and Connecticut Gov Ned Lamont. Anyone traveling from states with significant community spread of COVID-19 into New York, New Jersey or Connecticut must quarantine for 14 days, Cuomo announced.
He also confirmed if a New Yorker travels to a state with a high infection rate, they must also quarantine for 14 days.
The quarantine applies to all states with a COVID-19 infection rate of over 10 percent of the total population or with 10 people for every 100,000 infected. Both are based on a rolling seven-day average, Cuomo said.
It's not fully clear how the states will enforce the travel advisory. But in New York, Cuomo says police will be looking for and pulling over vehicles with out-of-state license plates. Hotel staff are also being asked to question guests about the quarantine order.
Anyone found violating the quarantine will be subject to a judicial order, placed in a mandatory quarantine and fined, Cuomo added.
According to Cuomo, a person found violating the order could be fined $2,000 for the first violation, $5,000 for a second violation and $10,000 if the person causes "harm."
The travel advisory currently applies to Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Washington, Utah, and Texas, as of this writing.
Over the weekend, Cuomo issued a new executive order that makes New York employees who voluntarily travel to high-risk states after June 25 ineligible for COVID-19 paid sick leave.
"If we are going to maintain the progress we've seen, we need everyone to take personal responsibility — that's why I'm issuing an executive order that says any New York employee who voluntarily travels to a high-risk state will not be eligible for the COVID protections we created under paid sick leave," Cuomo said in a press release. "New Yorkers have controlled the spread of this unprecedented virus by being smart and disciplined, and our progress to date is illustrated by the current low numbers of new cases and hospitalizations. But as we are seeing in other states who reopened quickly, the pandemic is far from over and we need stay vigilant. We're prepared to do the aggressive testing and contact tracing required to slow and ultimately control any potential clusters of new cases like the one in Westchester County."
Cuomo's recently announced mandated quarantine of all incoming travelers from hotspots around the country, employees will forgo their paid sick leave benefits from New York's COVID-19 paid sick leave law if they engage in non-essential travel to any state that has a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents, or higher than a 10 percent test positivity rate over a seven-day rolling average. This provision does not apply if the employee travels for work or at the employer's request.