New York City Begins Registering Travelers at COVID-19 Checkpoints

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New York City has established checkpoints to register visitors and residents returning from interstate travel – and they are required to quarantine for 14 days. The official explanation is that this is needed to forestall a second wave of COVID-19. Teams now are stopping travelers arriving in the city by train, requiring them to complete a health-status form, and advising that they face fines as high as $10,000 for failing to quarantine. Checkpoints currently do not involve the police, but the city’s Sheriff’s Office said motorists coming into the city on bridges will be stopped at random. If people who are required to quarantine for 14 days cannot be reached by phone, contact tracers will be sent to their homes to determine if citizens have obeyed the demands. Officials say that the effort relies on voluntary compliance – for now. -GEG

New York City opened new traveler checkpoints Thursday to register visitors and residents returning from nearly three dozen states who are required to quarantine for 14 days — an initiative that drew swift criticism from privacy advocates.

The checkpoints, targeting busy entry points like Penn Station, are more of an awareness campaign than a blockade, intended to preserve the city’s progress reducing its COVID-19 infection rate and forestall a second wave as the coronavirus ravages other states.

Authorities said this week a fifth of all new coronavirus cases in New York City have been from travelers entering the city from other states.

The random checks are similar to an effort already in place at airports and includes offers of free food delivery and in some cases even hotel stays for people who must quarantine.

Teams began stopping travelers arriving in the city by train Thursday, requiring they complete a state Department of Health traveler form and warning they could face fines as high as $10,000 for failing to quarantine.

The checkpoints don’t involve the police, but the city’s Sheriff’s Office, which enforces civil law, said it would pull over motorists at random on city bridges.

“If we’re going to hold at this level of health and safety in this city and get better, we have to deal with the fact that the quarantine must be applied consistently to anyone who’s traveled,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

Despite the specter of fines, the checkpoints are more educational than punitive, and officials acknowledged the effort relies on voluntary compliance.

“We’re not going to be in everyone’s apartment monitoring them,” de Blasio said. “Even if we’re not going to be able to reach every single person with a checkpoint, I think it’s going to help really get the message across.”

The campaign was criticized for sowing confusion and raising questions about how travelers’ personal information would be retained.

It’s not clear how long the registration checkpoints will remain in place. De Blasio said the city will use the approach “for as long as we think makes sense and as extensively as we think makes sense.”

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snowman
snowman
1 month ago

Where, oh where is the justice system in the USA? Every lawyer in the US ought to be busy exposing and defeating the COVID fraud.

Jane Farmer
Jane Farmer
1 month ago

When are people going to wise up to this blatant power grab. The freedoms and rights these dictators are taking away daily are NOT going to be given back at any point. (remember the freedoms you lost with the patriot act)

Phyllis
Phyllis
1 month ago

Welcome to Germany 1936! deblandio is an outright communist with this action, or fascist or whatever – he’s a frelling MONSTER and deserves to be put down NOW! Can’t anyone stop this petty tyrant??? This is the start, wait till you see what’s coming! If you live in NYC, leave NOW! Run away as fast and as far as you can, just don’t bring demonRat voting habits with you! I don’t get why anyone would go there anymore anyway for any reason. Unbelievable this is happening in this Beloved Country! grrrrrrr