Citing the threat of a “new strain” of the virus reportedly recorded in London and southern England, de Blasio announced the measure on Wednesday, during a press briefing urging Big Apple residents not to travel or gather for the upcoming holidays.
“Then there’s going to be a follow-up direct home visit or hotel visit from the sheriff’s deputy to confirm they are following the quarantine,” he added. “Or if they do not, they will be penalized” by up to $1,000 a day.
Sheriff Joseph Fucito said that deputies will inform travelers of quarantine protocols as well as the availability of city services, including help with food, housing “or anything that will help them through their quarantine.”
New York City has accounted for a disproportionate number of Covid-19 cases and deaths in the US. Though no longer in the top spot – that dubious distinction now belongs to Los Angeles – three of the city’s boroughs are still in the top ten US counties by the number of deaths attributed to the virus.
This is despite the strict lockdown measures imposed by de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo, including the cancellation of holidays, closing of schools, and the recent ban on indoor dining. De Blasio urged New Yorkers to take on this “one last sacrifice” before things get better starting in February.
While the reasoning he quoted is the expected increase in vaccinations, the implied expectation was that things will immediately improve once fellow Democrat Joe Biden is inaugurated as president at the end of January.
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