California has joined the list of 16 states, as have Georgia and Tennessee. Residents of 16 states will now have to go into 14 days of quarantine if they choose to travel to the New York area. Signs have gone up at airports and along highways. Hotels have been asked to inform their guests of the procedures.
Last week, the limit was introduced for eight states, including Texas and Florida. Aside from Idaho and Iowa, all 16 of the states now on the list are in the southeast and southwest portions of the U.S. On the updated list are: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nevada, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Utah.
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The restrictions come as many parts of the U.S. are seeing big surges in coronavirus infection rates, leading the Centers for Disease Control to issue warnings that the disease may have gotten beyond control. The new limits are a dramatic reversal of the pattern from early on in the pandemic, when travelers from New York were blamed for spreading the virus in Florida and elsewhere. New York was initially the global epicenter of the pandemic, but it has made the most progress in fighting the disease, with the rest of the country heading in the opposite direction in recent weeks.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo did not hold a press briefing Tuesday after announcing the expansion of the quarantine measures. At a briefing on Monday, he made note of new COVID-19 clusters that had been identified, including one involving travel to and from Florida by a family living in New York. Despite the significant headway made by New York and New Jersey, they are considered at risk by health officials because of travelers coming from out of state, a particular concern during the summer months.
In responding to COVID-19, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut have often acted jointly given their shared stake in the New York City metro area, a top travel and commercial hub.
“Our numbers have come way down, probably as much as any American state, but we paid a huge price,” New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy told NBC’s Today on Tuesday. “We’ve gone through hell. The last thing we want to do is go through hell again.”
On Monday, Murphy indefinitely delayed the return of indoor dining at restaurants in the state. Cuomo has also put the brakes on the reopenings of movie theaters and other parts of the state’s commercial landscape.
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