This is American in 2020. Starting with one state, New York, which could embolden other states to follow suit in the future.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Wednesday he was introducing checkpoints at tunnels and bridges to trace travelers coming in from COVID-19 hotspot states and force them to quarantine, but failed to explain how he would enforce it.
At a press conference on Wednesday morning, de Blasio sternly warned travelers that the law was ‘serious’ and that they could face a $10,000 fine if they do not self-isolate for 14 days once they arrive in the city.
The checkpoints will go up on Thursday but it remains unclear exactly where.
They are to identify people traveling into the city from one of the 35 states on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s mandatory quarantine list; Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin.
De Blasio said, “Compliance with the program will be required, not optional.”
The reaction was largely negative, with many saying the checkpoints were a breach of civil liberties.
Others demanded that de Blasio focus more on the escalating crime in the city – that is arguably keeping many of its wealthiest residents at bay.
His checkpoint announcement came as the governor begged wealthy New Yorkers to return to the city to save its tax base.
At a press conference on interview on Tuesday, he said of the wealthiest residents who have long left the city: ‘They are in their Hamptons homes, or Hudson Valley or Connecticut.
New Yorkers offered their own responses to the mayor’s edict:
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