NEW YORK - Connecticut says it has issued its first $3,000 in fines to a pair of residents who failed to comply with the state’s new coronavirus travel advisory.
Gov. Ned Lamont announced Monday that the individuals were both hit with $1,000 fines for failing to fill out public health forms when they flew back weeks ago from Louisiana and Florida – two states that are reporting higher numbers of daily confirmed cases. One of those residents was fined an additional $1,000 after his co-worker informed officials he was refusing to self-quarantine for 14 days as required under the restrictions, he added.
“Look I hate to do it, but we are going to be serious and show people we are serious about this,” Lamont said during a press conference.
“Overwhelmingly the number of people flying into our state from COVID-infected areas is way down. I think people are self-policing and self-regulating, but not all are,” he added. “We wanted to send a message loud and clear.”
The state, under its travel advisory, says “anyone traveling into Connecticut from a state that has a new daily positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents or a state with a 10% or higher positivity rate over a seven-day rolling average are directed to self-quarantine for a 14-day period from the time of last contact within the identified state.”
As of Wednesday, there are 34 states and territories on the list, including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The residents that were fined live in Hartford and Windham Counties, according to Josh Geballe, Connecticut’s chief operating officer.
Yet it is not immediately clear if they were carrying the coronavirus upon their return to Connecticut.
“This is for real. We need people to follow these rules, we need people to comply,” Geballe said Monday.
“The message people need to understand is that there are more investigations going on, we need you to fill out the form,” he warned. “If you need to quarantine then we expect you to do that and if not, there will be consequences.”
Connecticut currently has reported 50,684 coronavirus cases since the beginning of the outbreak, and 4,444 deaths.