Breaking down travel enforcement operations at New York state’s airports, and how to avoid $2,000 fine

Travel

ALBANY, N.Y. (WROC) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that beginning Tuesday, a travel enforcement operation will commence at airports across New York state.

The enforcement operation is to ensure travelers are following the state’s quarantine restrictions and to help contain the rates of COVID-19 transmission in New York, Gov. Cuomo said.

MORE | 3 more states added to New York coronavirus travel advisory, incoming travelers to self-quarantine

According to the governor’s office, enforcement teams will be stationed at airports statewide to meet arriving aircrafts at gates and greet disembarking passengers to request proof of completion of the State Department of Health traveler form, which is being distributed to passengers by airlines prior to, and upon boarding or disembarking flights to New York State.

For convenience, the state has launched a new electronic version of the Department of Health traveler form for people to fill out in advance of their trips.

The New York State Department of Health has also issued an emergency health order mandating that all out-of-state travelers from designated states complete the DOH traveler form upon entering New York.

Travelers who leave the airport without completing the form will be subject to a $2,000 fine and may be brought to a hearing and ordered to complete mandatory quarantine.

Officials from the governor’s office say airlines have all pledged to help make passengers aware of the new requirement using pre-flight emails, pre-flight announcements, in-flight announcements and other methods. Additionally, travelers coming to New York from designated states through other means of transport, including trains and cars, must fill out the DOH traveler form online.

“New York’s success in fighting the COVID-19 virus is under two threats: lack of compliance and the virus coming to New York from other states with increasing infection rates,” Gov. Cuomo said in a press release. “We have already implemented a quarantine order for travelers coming in from states with the highest infection rates, but we are experiencing non-compliance with the order that can lead to outbreaks and threaten the tremendous progress we’ve already made. The State Department of Health is going to issue an emergency health order today mandating that out-of-state travelers complete the DOH traveler form before leaving the airport, and we are launching an enforcement operation at airports across the state to help ensure travelers coming into New York are following this order.”

Enforcement at Regional Airports

MacArthur, Westchester, Albany, Syracuse, Rochester, Buffalo and Niagara Falls Airports will have enforcement teams on site daily based on daily arrivals from impacted states. Elmira, Ogdensburg and Plattsburgh Airports will have enforcement teams on site based on non-daily arrivals from impacted states. The enforcement teams stationed at these regional airports will be comprised of State DOH peace officers and staff supported by State Police personnel and will meet arriving aircrafts at gates and greet disembarking passengers to request proof of completion of the State DOH traveler form. Each airport will facilitate the physical set up of enforcement area with proper queuing and social distancing measures taken.

Enforcement at Port Authority Airports

Enforcement teams stationed at Port Authority airports will be comprised of peace officers from state agencies and will be supplemented by State Department of Health staff and supported by Port Authority police officers. The enforcement teams will meet arriving aircrafts at gates and greet disembarking passengers to request proof of completion of the State DOH traveler form. The Port Authority will facilitate the physical set up of enforcement area with proper queuing and social distancing measures taken.

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