New York expands list of states subject to COVID-19 quarantine


New York (AFP)

New York on Tuesday doubled to 16 the number of US states whose residents must go into quarantine if they visit, Governor Andrew Cuomo said amid surging coronavirus infection rates.

Cuomo said visitors from California, Nevada, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee must now quarantine for 14 days if they travel to New York.

This expands a travel advisory he and the governors of New Jersey and Connecticut announced last week which related to virus hotspots Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Utah and Texas.

"We now have 16 states that meet the formula for quarantine," Cuomo told local television news channel NY1.

The development comes as COVID-19 cases in New York -- once the epicenter of the global pandemic, where more than 20,000 people have succumbed to the disease -- trend downward while infection rates spike elsewhere.

The travel restrictions highlight a sharp turnaround in the nature of the coronavirus spread in the United States, where just months ago several states were mandating quarantine for visiting New Yorkers.

Cuomo has said the the advisory is aimed at keeping infection and hospitalization rates in the New York area low as the region slowly re-opens businesses and activities.

He explained last week that any visitors found violating self-quarantine rules would be subject to a judicial order and self-funded mandatory quarantine, as well as potential fines of $2,000 for a first violation and $5,000 for a second.

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont tweeted that his state had also expanded its list to 16 under the "regional travel advisory."