Governor Cuomo announced this week that he would be implementing even more travel enforcement operations at all airports in the state in order to ensure that all travelers coming into New York follow quarantine guidelines and restrictions. After New York became one of the country’s initial epicenters for Covid-19 at the beginning of this pandemic, the administration has made it a goal to protect itself from that happening again.
Part of the operation includes having enforcement teams stationed at every airport in New York State. These teams will meet arriving planes at the gates to greet all passengers as they exit into the airport. The enforcement teams will request proof of completion from every passenger in regards to their State Department of Health traveler forms. These forms are given to all airline passengers before, during, and after all flights to New York.
The state has now made these forms electronic as well to make it easier for passengers to complete before coming in and out of the state. The Department of Health in New York is also issuing an emergency health order that requires all out-of-state travelers coming into New York to complete the DOH traveler form before coming into the state. Travelers who fail to complete the forms before leaving the airport will be subject to a fine of $2,000 and may be brought in for a court hearing that will order a mandatory state-issued quarantine.
A multitude of airlines have pledged to help make passengers more hyper-aware of these forms and the importance of filling them out. Many airlines have opted to use pre-flight emails/announcements, as well as in-flight announcements throughout the course of the entire trip.
If you’re an out-of-state traveler that’s from one of the state’s on New York’s designated travel list you must fill out one of the DOH traveler forms online beforehand, this also holds true if you’re planning on entering the state via train or car. Currently New York has 19 states listed as meeting the criteria for a required quarantine. Cuomo states that it’s up to every out-of-state traveler to comply with the rules if the nation has any chance at recovering.
“New York’s success in fighting the COVID-19 virus is under two threats: lack of compliance and the virus coming to New York from other states with increasing infection rates.”
Larger more commercial airlines will be hiring peace officers and various employees from state agencies to work on the enforcement teams for arriving flights everyday. More regional airports throughout the state will have the teams on site based on the number of daily arrivals. As you could imagine, smaller more regional airports are seeing a lot less traffic especially when compared to larger ones that are located in more populated areas such as NYC.
Regional airport enforcement teams will also be made up of State DOH employees as well as local police depending on the area. Each airport is being required by the state to set up a large physical space at each gate that stands out and is clear to passengers. These areas will have proper social distancing markers set up and will hopefully work to run smoothly and quickly so that passengers can exit the airport as quickly and safely as possible.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.