Virus Outbreak New York

Passengers stand on line Oct. 20, 2020, at John F. Kennedy International Airport in the Queens borough of New York.

(The Center Square) – New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Friday the state will step up enforcement of the state’s new COVID-19 travel advisory for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.

Among the steps Cuomo will take including summoning National Guard troops to New York airports. He’s also asked New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to increase local police presence at LaGuardia and JFK airports.

On Wednesday, the state announced a change to its travel advisory initiative. The move allows those coming to New York to test out of the required 14-day quarantine, which Cuomo announced with New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont back in June.

The states that fell under the advisory changed repeatedly over the summer. However, as the number of cases grew in the fall, nearly every state fell under the restriction. That prompted New York officials to set up new guidelines.

To avoid that quarantine, though, travelers must take a COVID-19 test in the state from which they’re departing within three days of leaving. Travelers will still need to complete the required health form and must quarantine for three days upon their arrival in New York. After that, they must take a second test. As long as both tests are negative, the individual can leave quarantine.

“You should not land if you do not have proof of a negative test upon landing,” Cuomo told reporters.

Travelers from neighboring states are exempt.

The policy also pertains to New York residents who go out of state for more than 24 hours. Those who were out of state for less than a day do not need to quarantine immediately, but they still need to complete a traveler health form and take a COVID test within four days of their return.

In addition, the governor announced the State University of New York system will switch to remote learning for the remainder of the fall semester after Thanksgiving break. As students go home, SUNY will conduct exit COVID-19 tests to determine which ones need to quarantine when they arrive.

The state will determine whether to reopen SUNY schools for the spring semester at a later date, he added.

Cuomo said he wants private colleges to consider taking similar steps as he considers if the state needs to set a policy for those institutions.

“To send children home for Thanksgiving, to then bring them back basically for a couple of weeks from across the country and then end this semester literally two, three weeks later, doesn't make a lot of sense to me,” he said. “The SUNY policy does make sense, and I applaud them for that.”