Flying to New York from a hot spot? Provide contact info or risk $2,000 fine

Jul 13, 2020

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Travelers flying to New York from a coronavirus hot spot will have to provide their contact information or face a $2,000 fine for not doing so.

Those details were announced by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday, part of an emergency health order meant to give teeth to the state’s quarantine requirement for travelers arriving from states where coronavirus cases are high.

“We’re serious about enforcing quarantine,” Cuomo said via Twitter.

The stepped up quarantine rules in the USA’s biggest air travel market are just the latest setback for the industry, which has been dealt a crushing blow by the pandemic.

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Even before Cuomo moved to strengthen the rules in New York on Monday, analysts had already flagged the New York area’s restrictions as bad news for a travel recovery.

“We know the [second] quarter was awful,” Cowen analyst Helane Becker said about the broader industry in a Friday research note. “We are more interested in the current [third] quarter,” but added “the outlook isn’t going to be great” with quarantine rules now in place in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

More immediately for travelers, those flying to New York from out-of-state hot spots will be asked to provide their contact details in a form. The governor said the state will work with the Port Authority to enforce the requirement at the New York City-area airports while the state will work with airports elsewhere in the state, according to Democrat & Chronicle of Rochester.

New York – in conjunction with neighboring Connecticut and New Jersey – first rolled out the quarantine requirements in late June. The rules, which now apply to travelers arriving from 19 states, asks travelers from hard hit states to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.

Opening America: A state-by-state guide to reopening

Travelers arriving by plane had been asked to fill out forms upon landing in the state, but they were “voluntarily and there were no penalties associated with not filling it out,” writes the Democrat & Chronicle.

Now, the forms will be required. They’ll be made available online or will be distributed by airlines.

Failure to provide the information could result in a summons and a $2,000 fine, though specific enforcement measures were not detailed.

“You must give officials at the airport your form as to where you came from and where you are going before you leave the airport,” Cuomo was quoted as saying by Newsday during a Monday press conference. “It will be enforced in every airport in the State of New York.”

More: As travel reopens, here’s what it’s like flying in the US right now

In stepping up enforcement of the quarantine guidelines, Cuomo said he was determined not to let the spread of coronavirus get out of hand again in New York. The state was one of the nation’s first coronavirus hotspots before the infection rates were brought under control there.

“None of this is pleasant, but we’ve gone through this,” he said, according to The Associated Press.

It did not appear that the emergency health order announced Monday would include Newark, which is a major gateway for New York City but sits in neighboring New Jersey.

New Jersey also asks passengers arriving from those same 19 states to self-quarantine, though a state COVID-19 information page said that “is voluntary, but compliance is expected.”

More:US airlines may have to retire 1,000 jets. These are the ones that could end up in the boneyard.

Featured photo by Scott Heins/Getty Images.

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