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Cuomo’s order to fine out-of-staters who don’t stick to 14-day quarantine ‘may be unenforceable’

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s order to stop visitors from states where cases of the coronavirus have started reaching higher levels  may not be enforceable, according to experts. 

The governor’s order also may prove unconstitutional since Americans have a right to to travel between all 50 states, say the experts.

The new quarantine applies to states where the infection rate has reached a rate of 10 infections per 100,000 people on a seven day rolling average, or 10 percent of the total population testing positive. 

The restriction currently impacts people coming from Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Washington, Utah and Texas. 

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s order to stop visitors from states where cases of the coronavirus have started reaching higher levels may not be enforceable, according to experts.

Governor Andrew Cuomo's order to stop visitors from states where cases of the coronavirus have started reaching higher levels may not be enforceable, according to experts. Travelers are pictured boarding flights that originated in Texas, one of the affected states, Wednesday

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s order to stop visitors from states where cases of the coronavirus have started reaching higher levels may not be enforceable, according to experts. Travelers are pictured boarding flights that originated in Texas, one of the affected states, Wednesday

The mandate, which aligns with similar orders from the governors of New Jersey and Connecticut, went into effect Wednesday night at midnight. Violators face fines of up to $10,000.

The order also comes after Cuomo had previously gotten Rhode Island to reverse itself on a similar two-week quarantine requirement of all visitors from New York earlier during the pandemic after he threatened a lawsuit against the mandate. 

At the time, Cuomo deemed door-to-door checks in Rhode Island would would have been illegal and was able to persuade Gov. Gina Raimond to reverse the decision after threatening legal action. 

Experts told NBC News that the new order from Cuomo and his counterparts Phil Murphy of New Jersey and Ned Lamont of Connecticut also may be seen in a similar light.

‘I don’t know how you enforce something like this,’ said Brian Higgins, an expert on crowd management security at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City. ‘People are always going back and forth between states like New York and Florida, and if they’re not flying, they’re driving.’

‘I suppose if they really wanted to, they could start tracking people through E-ZPass,’ says Higgins, a former chief of police in Bergen County, New Jersey. ‘But I just can’t imagine they would go that far.’  

Cuomo's order also comes after he threatened legal action that persuaded Gov. Gina Raimond of Rhode Island (pictured) to reverse her decision on a similar quarantine of New Yorkers entering her state earlier during the pandemic

Cuomo’s order also comes after he threatened legal action that persuaded Gov. Gina Raimond of Rhode Island (pictured) to reverse her decision on a similar quarantine of New Yorkers entering her state earlier during the pandemic

So far, there have been more than 389,000 confirmed cases in New York of the coronavirus, which has been blamed for close to 25,000 deaths. 

Across the country there have been more than 2.3 million confirmed cases and close to 122,000 deaths that have been blamed on COVID-19.

Under the order in New York, cops will stop cars with license plates from the affected states to ask the person why they are not quarantining and how long they have been in the state for. Hotel clerks also will be asked to point out violators who fail to quarantine. 

If a person is caught having traveled to New York from one of the high risk states and they are not quarantining, they can be fined $2,000. 

If they are caught a second time, the fine is $5,000 and if they are found to have ’caused harm’, they face a fine of $10,000.

Experts doubt that New York will go so far to enforce the restriction.

‘The U.S. is not China. We’re not going to order a military lockdown,’ Sadiya Khan, an epidemiologist at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, told NBC.

 ‘It is sound advice to ask people from states with high levels of infection to self-isolate for two weeks. But I’m skeptical of how these restrictions can be forced.’  

Cuomo said New York’s slow reopening plan had been ‘vindicated’ by the fact its numbers continue to decrease while other states are seeing spikes. 

Forcing people to quarantine from other, high risk states, he said, was ‘just common sense’.

‘We do not want the virus coming in on a plane again,’ he said. 

For the last three days, the average number of people dying across the state was 17. At its worst in April, the number was nearly 800. 

There are now 1,071 people in the hospital with COVID-19. At the height of the pandemic, that number was more than 18,000.

Lamont was more vague in describing enforcement in Connecticut. 

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont was more vague about describing enforcement in his state

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont was more vague about describing enforcement in his state

‘What we are going to do is every single airport throughout our region, people will be noticed that these are the rules, you must self-quarantine if you haven’t had a test within 72 hours, something like that,’ Lamont said told Fox Business. 

‘We are going to notify hotels and Airbnbs that these are the rules so that people will know what the rules of the road are and they’ll follow them.’  

Polly Price, who teaches law and public health at Emory University in Atlanta, pointed out that it would be highly unlikely that the restrictions can prevent a person from exercising their constitutional right to move freely between states.

 ‘What these states are doing is imposing conditions on that travel. When it goes from ‘we’re going to request that you self-quarantine for a period of time’ to ‘we’re going to arrest you or fine you if you don’t,’ that’s when constitutional issues become tricky,’ she tells NBC News.

Twenty-seven states are still seeing rising coronavirus case numbers and rising hospitalization numbers.

Seven states hit their highest coronavirus hospitalizations this week.   

Cuomo shared a slide showing the states where coronavirus numbers continue to rise

Cuomo shared a slide showing the states where coronavirus numbers continue to rise 

Just over 820 Americans died from coronavirus on Tuesday, bringing the total death toll to more than 121,000. It is the highest number of daily deaths recorded in the past week after fatality rates started declining nationwide

Just over 820 Americans died from coronavirus on Tuesday, bringing the total death toll to more than 121,000. It is the highest number of daily deaths recorded in the past week after fatality rates started declining nationwide

New cases in the US have been surging for more than a week after trending down for over six weeks. Nearly 35,000 new cases were reported on Tuesday, which is down from the record 36,000 infections that were logged on April 24

New cases in the US have been surging for more than a week after trending down for over six weeks. Nearly 35,000 new cases were reported on Tuesday, which is down from the record 36,000 infections that were logged on April 24

Texas, which was one of the first states to start reopening back in April, has also reached an all-time high of new cases leading Republican Governor Greg Abbott to backpedal on efforts to get back to business as usual and tell people not to leave the house unless they need to.

In Florida, where new cases surged 87 per cent last week, Governor Ron DeSantis warned Tuesday he will be cracking down on bars and restaurants that flout social distancing guidelines, after reports of large parties across the state.

A similar hard line is being adopted in New Jersey, where Murphy said Monday, in response to images circulated on social media which showed large crowds gathering at newly reopened bars and restaurants.

Experts are warning that the nationwide increase in infections is largely coming from a spike in cases among young people who are ignoring social distancing measures and testing positive for the virus.

‘You are putting people’s lives in jeopardy,’ Cuomo said of the states that reopened ‘too early’.  

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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