In this March 19 photo, a pedestrian walks past a storefront for rent on Madison Avenue, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

In this March 19 photo, a pedestrian walks past a storefront for rent on Madison Avenue, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

Washington travelers to Northeast states are told to isolate

Governors are warily eying states with rising COVID-19 cases, to keep history from repeating itself.

Associated Press

NEW YORK — New York, Connecticut and New Jersey will require visitors from states with high coronavirus infection rates to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival, beginning Thursday, the three governors said.

“We now have to make sure the rates continue to drop,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday at a video briefing with Govs. Phil Murphy of New Jersey and Ned Lamont of Connecticut, both fellow Democrats. “We also have to make sure the virus doesn’t come on a plane again.”

What was presented as a “travel advisory” affects three adjacent Northeastern states that after time were able to check the spread of the virus this spring as New York City became a hot spot for the pandemic.

And the governors are now warily eying other states with rising caseloads, trying to keep history from repeating itself.

“This is a smart thing to do,” Murphy said. “We have taken our people, the three of us … to hell and back. The last thing we need to do right now is subject our folks to another round.”

The states’ health departments will provide details of how the rule will work, Murphy said. Visitors to New York from affected states will be informed that they need to quarantine and that violators could face a mandatory quarantine and a fine, Cuomo said.

The quarantine is voluntary but “urgent guidance,” Lamont said at a briefing in Hartford, noting it will be enforced differently in each state. Connecticut is considering putting up signs at entry points and getting the word out via social media.

The announcement comes as summer travel to the states’ beaches, parks and other attractions — not to mention New York City — would normally swing into high gear.

Visitors from states over a set infection rate will have to quarantine, Cuomo said. As of Wednesday, states over the threshold were Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Washington, Utah and Texas.

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