Cuomo: Police at airports enforcing pandemic quarantine

Police officers are stationed at New York area airports to enforce the state's strict quarantine rules amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the governor said.

"Our quarantine enforcement is serious. And I want people coming into this state to know that. States have never done border patrol before," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at a briefing on Thursday. "But we have police at airports. When you land, there is a police officer there. You have to fill out a form as to where you're going. It is illegal to leave the airport without filling out the form." (You can complete it online.)

Anyone coming from a state with a high COVID-19 infection rate must quarantine for 14 days when visiting New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut, the governors of those states announced about a month ago. The list of states keeps growing as coronavirus infections spike across the country.

"We know that this virus travels. We know that we cannot hermetically seal the state of New York in our own little bubble," Cuomo said. "So, when you see the virus coming up in these other states, it poses a threat to New York."

The governor said he has heard that some travelers weren't aware of the quarantine rules but that is no excuse. The state's Health Department has been regularly updating the list and an explanation of what you need to do.

"We have some people coming into New York saying, 'Well, I didn't know there was a quarantine.' I don't know how they did not know there was a quarantine," Cuomo said. "There is a quarantine, and we are serious about it."

He said 39 states now fit the criteria of "increasing threat" and require visitors and returning residents to stay put for two weeks. 

"Upon entering New York, if you are a traveler and do not have a suitable dwelling for your 14-day quarantine period, you must find appropriate accommodations at your own cost," the Health Department website states. "If you are a NYS resident returning from travel and do not have appropriate accommodations for quarantine, please call your local health department." 

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