Cuomo issues travel advisory for New York as five upstate regions clear for Phase 4 of reopening

(Kevin P. Coughlin / Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)

Those traveling to states with COVID-19 infection rates will have to quarantine themselves when they return to New York.

In a joint statement, Governors Andrew Cuomo, Phil Murphy and Ned Lamont have issued a travel advisory for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Anyone who travels to New York, New Jersey or Connecticut from a state with a high COVID-19 infection rate, such as Texas or Florida, will be required to quarantine for 14 days.

The travel advisory will take effect at midnight on June 25. Those who are caught violating the quarantine will be subject to fines.

“We worked very hard to get the viral transmission rate to go down,” said Cuomo. “We don’t want to see it go up. A lot of people come into this region and they could literally bring the infection with them.”

“We live in the densest neighborhood in America. We’ve been clobbered by this virus,” said Murphy. “No region of the country has paid a bigger price with the loss of brothers and sisters – we’ve lost just under 13,000 of our New Jersey family. New York has paid an enormous price, Connecticut has paid a big price as well. We need to do things right inside the four walls of our respective states.”

“The northeast region has taken this seriously and that’s allowed us as a region to power through and get our positivity rates very low,” said Lamont. “As we look around the rest of the country, we have seen not just spikes, we’ve seen real community spread – more than 10% positivity rate – in many of the states we are talking about now.”

In New York, COVID-19 numbers are continuing to decline. On June 23, total hospitalizations fell to 1,071, the lowest number since March 19, and 17 people succumbed to the infection. A total of 51,144 COVID-19 tests were performed that day, with 581 testing positive (a 1.1% infection rate).

Cuomo once again criticized states that rushed into reopening, stating that phased reopening has proven to be better for not just for public health but also for the economy.

“The concept that you could open recklessly, see the virus transmission go up, and think that was going to to be good for the economy was bizarroland,” said Cuomo. “And you see that today, because you see states with an increasing viral spread – it’s up to about 27 states that now have an increase in the virus spread – and you see the stock market going down every time the virus goes up.”

Five regions of upstate New York are cleared to enter Phase 4 of reopening on Friday, June 26: Finger Lakes, Central New York, North Country, Mohawk Valley and the Southern Tier. Phase 4 includes low-risk outdoor arts and entertainment (including zoos and botanical gardens) operating at 33% capacity, low-risk indoor arts and entertainment (museums, aquariums) operating at 25% capacity, as well as film.movie production, higher education and professional sports without fans.