Coronavirus updates: NYC threatens UK visitors who defy quarantine with fines

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This is our daily update of the latest COVID-19 news for Wednesday December 23, 2020. Previous Daily Updates can be found here, and updated statistics are here.
New York is in Phase 4 reopening now, which includes zoos, botanical gardens, museums, and gymnasiums. Citing rising hospitalization rates, Governor Andrew Cuomo indoor hanging dining room in New York starting Monday, December 14. After having beento close for several weeks, New York public schools partially reopened on December 7 for 3K-5 students, with the return of students with special needs on December 10. Parts of Staten Island remain under a zoned stop.

Get your questions answered can have with our series “Ask an epidemiologist”, or learn more about NYC COVID-19 test options with our explicator. Here are some local and national hotlines for more information: NYC: 311; New York State Hotline: 888-364-3065; NJ State Hotline: 800-222-1222.

Here is the latest:

The New York sheriff’s office plans to visit and check in with travelers from the UK to ensure they comply with the state’s quarantine rules, Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Wednesday.

City health officials have expressed concern over a new variant of the coronavirus which has been identified in the UK and which has prompted officials to implement lockdowns across much of the country. Two cases of another variant from South Africa were also recently discovered in Britain. The first results suggest that the two variants are more transmissible.

The variant has yet to be discovered in the United States, but New York City has started a genetic sequencing program to identify the variant through test samples processed at the city’s pandemic response lab.

De Blasio says sheriff’s deputies will visit the home or hotel of every traveler coming from the UK

“We cannot take risks with anyone who travels, especially anyone coming from the UK,” de Blasio said during his morning press briefing.

According to state rules, travelers from most places must be quarantined for two weeks. They can also serve a shorter quarantine period by submitting to the state’s “test out” option.

Any traveler who violates the quarantine order is liable to a fine of $ 1,000. Those who continue to disobey the rule will be fined an additional $ 1,000 for each day of violation.

Similar to previous holiday periods, Sheriff’s deputies will be stationed at major travel centers (airports, train stations, bus depots, and bridge crossings) to inform travelers of the state’s quarantine rule and their provide information on available services.

To date, the sheriff’s office has arrested 10,000 drivers at checkpoints to disseminate information as part of the city’s enforcement and public awareness campaign, the mayor said.

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