New York, New Jersey and Connecticut have announced they are joining together on tri-state rules to prevent the spread of coronavirus, while slamming the federal government for not laying down national directives.
In a joint conference call Monday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont announced the new tri-state directives.
The states agreed to ban gatherings of more than 50 people and to close all casinos, gyms and movie theaters starting 8 p.m. Monday. Restaurants would also have to close across the tri-state from 8 p.m. Monday, unless solely providing a delivery service.
The governors also said that they had no plans to shut down public transport, although New Jersey's governor said they were working to "right-size" capacity to match reduce ridership.
New Jersey also ordered all non-essential businesses to close at 8 p.m. nightly, and said overnight travel was "strongly discouraged."
Gov. Cuomo said the tri-state directives was in reaction to the "hodge-podge" of different rules across states and cities in the country which allowed people to shop between different locales. "We have agree to a common set of rules that will pertain to all of our states - so don't even think about going to a neighboring state because there will be a different set of conditions," he said.
The governor also slammed the federal government for an "inexcusable" lack of leadership on reducing population density nationwide, causing "chaos". He said there should be one set of rules for the entire nation.
"We need the federal government to do a better job than they've been doing. They have to step up, they’ve been behind from day one on this crisis.”
He called on the federal government to deploy the Army Corps of Engineers to the tri-state to immediately start building temporary healthcare facilities, with the governors adding that the states were "woefully short" as a region on hospital beds for when the full force of coronavirus hits the tri-state's already strapped medical facilities.