New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday that New York, as well as New Jersey and Connecticut, will begin enforcing quarantine orders on travelers from nine other states. Travelers from Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Utah, Texas and Washington will have to self-isolate for two weeks after entering the tri-state area.
In late March, Gov. Cuomo criticized President Trump for suggesting a state-based quarantine order that would restrict travel for residents of the tri-state area. When the New York City area was the “epicenter” of the coronavirus pandemic, Trump suggested a two-week quarantine order on residents of New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey.
“Some people would like to see New York quarantined because it’s a hot spot,” the president suggested in March. “There is a possibility that sometime today we’ll do a quarantine, short term, two weeks, on New York, probably New Jersey, certain parts of Connecticut,” he added, noting the high numbers of New York residents fleeing to Florida.
Cuomo shot back at Trump’s suggestion, calling it a “declaration of war on states” and saying “we would be Wuhan, China” if such a quarantine order was enforced.
“If you start walling off areas all across the country you would just be totally bizarre, counterproductive, anti-American, anti-social,” Cuomo continued in an interview with CNN. He also criticized a decision by the state of Rhode Island at the time to stop all cars with New York license plates crossing the state border. “If they don’t roll back that policy, I’m going to sue Rhode Island, because that clearly is unconstitutional,” he said.
But under Cuomo’s new order, police in New York are now authorized to pull over vehicles with license plates from hotspot states and grill them on why they aren’t isolating.
Although his new order still allows entry into New York, it enforces a mandatory quarantine order on residents from certain states. That list of states may also grow, depending on whether more states experience surges in cases. Cuomo also said that travelers violating the quarantine order in New York may be “subject to a judicial order.”