New York City plans to utilize checkpoints at "key entry points" along main bridges and tunnels leading into the city in order to stop travelers from states with high coronavirus infection rates and place them in quarantine for two weeks, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Wednesday.
De Blasio said COVID checkpoints would be effective immediately.
"Travelers coming in from those states will be given information about the quarantine, they will be reminded that it is required, not optional," de Blasio said at a press briefing. "They'll be reminded that failure to quarantine is a violation of state law and it comes with serious penalties. The checkpoints... are going to send a very powerful message that this quarantine law is serious."
Dr. Ted Long, head of New York City's Test & Trace Corps, said his group is checking in on out-of-state visitors through calls and text messages. He noted that if travelers are unable to be reached through phone, they will deploy teams that will be "knocking on your door and making sure you're safe."
"We want you to come into New York City, but we need you to safely separate for two weeks when you arrive to keep New York City safe," Long said, adding that the city will provide free food deliveries and help with medications. "We know that it's not easy to get through a two-week period of safe separation, but it's incredibly important and were going to do everything in our power to help you."
Those caught violating the mandatory quarantine will be fined anywhere between $2,000 and $10,000 depending on the severity and frequency of the violation.