NY travel enforcement increased amid virus surge

United Airlines takes precautions to keep customers and employees safe at Newark Liberty International Airport during the coronavirus pandemic. Patti Sapone/NJ Advance Media

The state will increase National Guard patrols in New York airports statewide to reduce community spread of the novel coronavirus as an influx of travel and activity is expected with the approaching holiday season.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and officials in the state’s Coronavirus Task Force expressed concern as COVID-19 infections continue to surge in more than 45 states across the nation, including neighboring New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania.

Earlier this month, the governor discouraged New Yorkers from unnecessary, or nonessential, travel for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.

“We’re worried about the holiday season,” Cuomo said Friday during a telephone call with reporters. “I’ve cautioned before, people should beware of small gatherings this year.

“We’re worried about behavior in the state. We’re worried about behavior out of the state.”

The state will bolster its mandatory 14-day quarantine policy for out-of-state visitors and travelers when arriving in New York with increased enforcement and patrols at state airports.

All travelers are required to test negative for COVID-19 twice to “test out” of the required isolation period — one within three days of arrival in New York, and another at least four days later.

“You should not land if you do not have proof of a negative test upon landing,” Cuomo said. “I’m increasing the National Guard. ... We have a strict quarantine policy in place.”

New York Health Department officials will look up travelers on the U.S.’s nationwide health communication system who do not have physical evidence of a negative COVID-19 test when landing in the state.

Health officials can search for a person’s coronavirus test results by patient name, address, Social Security number or other commonly collected medical information.

“They can find out one way or the other,” Cuomo said. “There’s a database and it’s going to say if you didn’t take a test, and then there’s a problem.”

More New York Police Department officers will be stationed at LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy international airports in New York City.

“I want people to know we’re serious,” the governor added.

Airlines and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey work to help notify all domestic and international travelers of New York’s COVID-19 regulations. All U.S. states and countries across the globe have varying travel restrictions as the pandemic continues.

“They know the rules,” Cuomo said of travelers. “This is not just a New York phenomenon. Everybody has rules now.”

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