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New York, New Jersey and Connecticut are the latest states to introduce 14-day traveler quarantines to attempt to control the spread of the corona virus. After being struck by the eruption this spring, the governors of the states hope to preserve their hard-won recovery by isolating travelers from more than half a dozen hotspot states.
As of Friday, there were few details on how the newly established quarantine will be maintained, but playbooks from other states include everything from making new entrants to fill out forms to knocking National Guard members.
And while it’s impossible to keep an eye on every hotel, highway, airport, and bus station, the policy can have immediate effect if it discourages people from coming in the first place.
“At this point, I think you’ll find many people who might have planned to fly to Connecticut from Miami Beach or Dallas-Fort Worth take a break,” said Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont. “I think most will stay at home. That’s what I want to happen. ‘
The three states have previous experience with travel quarantines – albeit as targets rather than enforcers. In March, as the caseloads climbed ominously into the New York City area, Florida and Texas issued separate orders requiring people entering from the three-state area of New York to be quarantined for 14 days.
In Florida, travelers from the three states arriving on commercial flights or through Interstate-95 fill out a form with their phone number and address where they will be staying. The Florida Highway Patrol ensures that quarantines are tracked, including through in-person visits, according to a state spokesman.
Rhode Island officials took more aggressive measures that same month, deploying National Guard troops door-to-door in coastal areas to inform New Yorkers who may have come to the state to quarantine themselves for 14 days. Democratic governor Gina Raimondo also had the state police stop number plate vehicles in New York and give occupants copies of her quarantine question.
The door knocks and vehicle stops stopped within a few weeks, and Rhode Island eventually expanded mandatory quarantine for visitors from all other states except those from the Massachusetts-Connecticut border who just commute to and from work.
Did the hardline of Rhode Island work? Raimondo said it did that as part of a wider effort, including mandate testing and masking.
“I think it’s a good idea,” she said this week.
Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Dr. Robert Redfield was less sure about the state-to-state quarantines.
“We don’t have evidence-based data to support the value of that decision to public health,” he said Thursday when asked about the move of the northeastern states.
Alaska and Hawaii have both introduced a 14-day quarantine for people arriving in those states. Hawaii has been particularly aggressive in enforcing the ban and has arrested offenders.
When travelers land in Hawaii, airport officials check their arrangements by contacting hotels. Tourism officials follow up to check if travelers are in quarantine. Authorities rely on tips from hotel workers and other residents to catch quarantine breakers. There is even a Facebook group of 4,000 members that ensures that visitors follow the rules.
Alaska gave travelers the opportunity to test this month to avoid mandatory quarantine. Hawaii announced on Wednesday that it is adopting a similar plan to Alaska taking effect in August.
As pandemic hotspots shift, states in the New York City region are asking travelers to quarantine if they come from states with high infection rates. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the first list of states includes Texas and Florida, as well as Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Utah.
“We are currently talking to the airlines about our ability as a state to interrogate people … entering our airports, collect information from them, carry out checks … on them, temperature checks, etc.,” Cuomo told Friday. reporters. .
Cuomo on CNN mentioned random checks on Thursday to ensure that people are quarantined.
The operators of the three major airports in the New York City area – with more than 300 flights arriving from Florida airports in the week ending Wednesday – have already posted “COVID-19 Travel Advisory” signs with target areas marked in red. Signs were also posted at the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan.
City hotels will ask if incoming guests have traveled from states on the quarantine list, said Lisa Linden, spokesperson for the Hotel Association of New York City. Airbnb notified landlords in the three states about the quarantine because it was taking steps to ensure that potential guests were informed, spokesman Sam Randall said.
In Connecticut, portable electronic signs were placed along major highways near the borders.
In New Jersey, electronic signs will ask travelers who come from the state to call 511 to determine their quarantine status, said Stephen Schapiro, spokesman for the transportation department.
Bradley International Airport operators in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, said they are working with airlines to clarify that they expect onboard announcements about quarantine on arriving flights. Messages are also posted all over the terminal building, said Kevin Dillon, executive director of the Connecticut Airport Authority.
Dillon noted that flights to places like Florida, North Carolina, and Texas are affected.
“It will undoubtedly have an impact on Bradley Airport,” he said.
Associated Press writers Susan Haigh in Hartford, Connecticut; Mike Catalini in Trenton, New Jersey; Brendan Farrington in Tallahassee, Florida; David Porter of New York and William J. Kole of Warwick, RI; contributed to this report.
Follow the AP coverage of the pandemic at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak.
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