NEW YORK — As New York City continues to fight the spread of the pandemic, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Wednesday COVID-19 checkpoints will be implemented at key entry points in across the city.
The checkpoints, which go into effect Wednesday, were imposed to enforce the tri-state area's travel advisory. Locations will vary daily, the mayor said.
The city has also partnered with transportation and tourism companies, including hotels, trains, bus and car rentals, to support COVID-19 education and enforcement.
The mayor acknowledged challenges with how the checkpoints will be implemented, but "the important thing is checkpoints will send a powerful message that this quarantine law is important and crucial," he said.
Fines for up to $10,000 will be issued for anyone violating quarantine, according to de Blasio.
The Sheriff's Office will undertake quarantine checkpoints at major bridge and tunnel crossings into the city, according to NYC Sheriff Joseph Fucito.
"We need to ensure visitors and New Yorkers returning home are taking the necessary precautions to limit the spread of this disease." Fucito said.
The team has developed a uniformed procedure that will be applied to all New Yorkers and protect their rights. Each day, the team will predetermine the pattern on who will get stopped to prevent discrimination.
State Senate Republican leader Rob Ortt blasted the checkpoints on Wednesday, saying the mayor should focus on schools and helping small businesses instead. He also suggested law enforcement resources focused on combating violent crimes would better serve city residents.
“It’s deeply concerning that New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is using law enforcement resources to set up coronavirus checkpoints at city entry points to enforce Gov. Cuomo’s quarantine rules for travelers, with fines as high as $10,000,” he said in an emailed statement.
In June, the governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut imposed a 14-day quarantine on people traveling to the tri-state area from states with a high transmission rate of coronavirus.
There are currently 34 states and Puerto Rico on the list.
The city has made great progress in mitigating the spread of the virus. The travel advisory is part of an effort to keep the virus rate low, Cuomo has said.