New York to out-of-state travelers: Provide contact information or face a $2,000 fine

Jon Campbell, New York State Team

ALBANY – New York will require air travelers from states with high rates of COVID-19 to provide their local contact information or face a penalty of up to $2,000, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday.

The shift in policy comes nearly three weeks after New York issued an order in late June requiring many out-of-state travelers to quarantine for two weeks upon entering the state.

The quarantine order, which came as COVID-19 rates increased across the country while dropping in New York, now applies to travelers coming from 19 states including California, Texas and Florida. 

Now, travelers to New York from the states on the quarantine list will be required to fill out a form documenting where they're coming from and their local contact information after they exit the plane.

The form will be made available at the airports or online, Cuomo said.

"We can't be in a situation where we have people from other states bringing the virus again," Cuomo said. "It's that simple."

The Greater Rochester International Airport.
The Greater Rochester International Airport.

Previously, the state Department of Health had been working with airlines to circulate a similar form to passengers deplaning in New York.

But the form was voluntary and there were no penalties associated with not filling it out; Now, Cuomo said the state will issue an "emergency health order" making it mandatory and allowing police to issue a summons that could carry a $2,000 fine.

Cuomo said the Port Authority will handle enforcement in the New York City-area airports, while the state will work with local airports in other areas of the state.

New York's quarantine order is mandatory for travelers coming from states on the list, though enforcement is a difficult task.

Travelers to the state are expected to self-quarantine upon their arrival, meaning they isolate on their own in a hotel room, apartment or home.

If the traveler is caught violating the self-quarantine, the state or a local health department can seek a mandatory quarantine order, which would carry a $2,000 fine for a first violation, according to the state.

More: Q&A: What to know about the quarantine if traveling to NY, NJ and CT

More: NY, NJ, CT order out-of-state travelers to quarantine because of COVID-19

Jon Campbell is a New York state government reporter for the USA TODAY Network. He can be reached at JCAMPBELL1@Gannett.com or on Twitter at @JonCampbellGAN.

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This article originally appeared on New York State Team: NY requires travelers from COVID-19 hot spots to give contact info

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