All international travelers arriving at New York airports must now quarantine for 14 days after arrival, according to a new executive order from Gov. Andrew Cuomo — with the exception of a select few nations.
On Monday, Cuomo signed the order as a way to remind anyone coming from level 2 or 3 countries, according to the Centers for Disease Control, that the quarantine is still in place. Level 2 or 3 countries have moderate or high risk for COVID-19, according to the CDC website.
The quarantine order is not totally new, as one was first put into place back in March as the pandemic shutdowns and quarantines were just beginning. However, the CDC has rolled back screening measures at airports with incoming international flights, the governor said, leading him to sign the executive order. Cuomo also said that rising fears of a second COVID wave led him to make the decision.
"We're seeing alarming increases in countries around the world," Cuomo said.
In addition to the mandatory quarantine, all international passengers must fill out a travel form that the state said is necessary to link travelers to the appropriate local health department for contract tracing purposes. Those who refuse to fill out the form face civil penalties, the governor's office said.
The advisory applies to any individuals coming from areas with positivity rates higher than 10 per 100,000 residents, or higher than 10 percent, over a seven-day rolling average.
I landed before that, so I don't know. I landed before the announcement," said Sophia Morel, who is visiting from Serbia and arrived just after Cuomo signed the order — leaving her unsure if she was supposed to quarantine. "In my case, I'm staying for a couple of months. But if someone is only here for a month, I'm not going to come, there's no need for me to come. I'm going to stay home for 14 days as well."
During the time the quarantine order is enforced, those who depend on tourism for business fear it will further discourage visitors, and further hurt their already badly damaged bottom line.
There are some exceptions however. Travelers entering the state from one of 31 countries would not have to immediately quarantine, according to the executive order. Those countries are:
- American Samoa
- Cayman Islands
- Falkland Islands
- Isle of Man
- Macau SAR
- Marshall Islands
- New Caledonia
- New Zealand
- Saint Bethelemy
- Saint Kitts and Nevis
- Saint Lucia
- Saint Pierre and Miquelon
- Sint Eustatius