Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced that anybody visiting or returning to New York City during the upcoming holiday season will be subject to mandatory quarantine and a $1,000 fine if doesn’t follow the order.
“We’re going to have sheriff deputies go to the home or the hotel of every single traveler coming in from the U.K.,” de Blasio said. “There’s going to be a follow-up, direct home or hotel visit from the sheriff’s deputy to confirm that they are following the quarantine, or if they are not, they will be penalised.”
De Blasio said that as of Wednesday, all international travelers will receive an order from the Ministry of Health Commissioner in the mail, which will take them to quarantine after filling out forms with contact information at airports.
“We need people not to travel, but if they do, we are going to be very, very stringent about the rules,” he said during a press briefing.
Travelers from the UK, where a new, apparently highly contagious strain of the coronavirus is spreading, will also receive the order, but it will be delivered direct by MPs to their home or hotel.
“Every traveller who comes into this city, that we identify as someone coming into this city or coming back to this city, will also receive that Department of Health commissioner’s order,” the mayor said. “It’s going to be confirmed they got it and then people are going to be held responsible to make sure they’re following the quarantine.”
Meanwhile, travelers at airports, train stations and bus depots are picked up by sheriff MPs and other city officials who, upon arrival, present them with forms and mandatory quarantine instructions that start the surveillance and enforcement process.
The mayor said the city is “working closely” with the state government and port authority to enforce its quarantine order, but noted that the city itself has the power to be “very aggressive” to ensure people follow it .
On Wednesday, UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced on Wednesday that additional areas in the east and south-east of England will be subject to the highest Tier 4 restrictions, and revealed that two cases of another new variant of the novel coronavirus have been found in Britain.