How Will New York Enforce The New 14-Day Quarantine Rule?
Governor Cuomo announced on Wednesday that New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut have teamed up to require that travelers from states with high coronavirus outbreaks to quarantine for 14 days. Currently, there are eight states that if you visit, or travel from back to New York you'd be required to self-quarantine for two weeks. Those states include Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Washington, Texas, and Utah.
This sounds good in theory. Our coronavirus cases in New York are some of the lowest in the country now and we don't want another significant surge caused by people traveling here from places where the coronavirus numbers are growing.
So how is New York going to enforce this 14-day quarantine? Most experts have said that it will be very tough to enforce. Even Governor Cuomo said that someone from one of the "hot spot" states could come here and not quarantine, but if they were caught they could face fines anywhere from $2000 to $10,000. Plus, they could then be subject to a mandatory quarantine or even jail time.
"You violate the quarantine, you will then have to do a mandatory quarantine, and you'll be fined," Gov. Cuomo
The main problem with enforcement is how do you identify people that have traveled from one of the identified states? Governor Cuomo said that New York airports would be making announcements and putting up signs announcing the two-week quarantine. Hotels and AirB&Bs would be asked to do the same.
Law enforcement could be allowed to pull over drivers with license plates from those states with high coronavirus cases and the state could even use EZPass to track people coming and going. This seems like a really extreme scenario, but if this pandemic has taught us anything it's that almost anything can and will happen.
Then there's the whole, "Is it even constitutional to restrict travel between states?" The short answer is, no it's not. The constitution guarantees our right to move freely about the country and travel between states.
Currently, we will be on the honor system for the 14-day quarantine rule. We will see how well that works.