New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and Gov. Ned Lamont announced a joint travel advisory Wednesday for any visitors coming from states with increasing infection rates of the COVID-19 virus.
Travelers from states with high infection rates must quarantine for 14 days.
The criteria for states that have a high infection rate are 10 infections per 100,000 residents on a seven-day average or 10% of the state’s total population infected on a seven-day average, said Cuomo.
As of Wednesday the states that are above that are Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Washington, Utah and Texas. The list of states will be updated daily.
“We went from the highest cases, the highest viral transmission rate to some of the lowest rates in the country,” Cuomo said in a joint press conference with Murphy and Lamont. “No one else had to bend the curve as much as we had to bend the curve.”
Cuomo doesn’t want to lose the progress the tri-state region has made.
“We have to make sure the rate continues to drop,” Cuomo said. “We also have to make sure the virus doesn’t come in on a plane again.”
Cuomo said the travel ban from China did nothing to stop the spread in the New York region because it was already in Europe at that point, and there was no European travel ban in place.
The announcement wasn’t a decision the governors made lightly.
Lamont said the governors reluctantly came to the conclusion to require the self-quarantine to make sure the region stays safe.
At a separate press conference, Lamont said they are still discussing whether a person could present a COVID-negative test certificate if they didn’t want to quarantine for 14 days.
“It does make some sense to me, especially is a business person wants to come up has three days to do business and go back,” Lamont said. “I’m gonna get that coordinated with my fellow governors as well just so it’s clear.”
As for enforcement, “Right now, it’s going to be voluntary,” Lamont said.
Connecticut is focusing on “individual accountability” for compliance, said Lamont’s Chief Operating Officer, Josh Geballe.
“If we find that’s not working, if we find that people are abusing that, we’ll consider some stricter measures for enforcement,” Lamont said.
Right now, “Each state will be responsible for the enforcement of that policy within their state,” Cuomo said.
The quarantine order will begin at midnight Wednesday.
If Connecticut residents travel to states with high infection rates they will be required to self-quarantine when they return, Lamont said.