247 News Around The World
247 News Around The World

States are introducing curfews, setting up COVID-19 checkpoints and issuing stay at home orders as officials hope to avoid a spike in coronavirus cases linked to Thanksgiving travel.

In Los Angeles, travelers into the city’s airports will be required to fill out a form acknowledging the recommendation to quarantine for 14 days after arrival, while in New York City, extra COVID-19 checkpoints have been set up at bridges and tunnels to warn travelers of the state’s quarantine requirements. 

Governor Phil Scott remained worried about Thanksgiving travel in Vermont Tuesday as he called for students to be interrogated about their Thanksgiving plans before being allowed back to in-person teaching. 

In Pennsylvania, Gov. Tom Wolf announced that law enforcement would be stepping up efforts to enforce the state’s safety plan, which requires people entering from a different state – whether Pennsylvania residents or not – to test negative for the virus within 72 hours before they arrive in the commonwealth.

In Maryland, ‘High Visibility Compliance Units’ will patrol to ensure no large gatherings, and in New Mexico, a statewide stay-at-home order has been issued to dissuade travelers. 

In many states and major cities, however, health officials are simply replying on the general public to comply with the recommendation to stay at home and avoid mixing with other households, rather than bringing in any measures to enforce the advice. 

Yet millions have already traveled, packing airports and train stations across the country in defiance of the CDC’s guidance.  

Travelers line up in JFK airport on Wednesday despite recommendations against travel

Travelers line up in JFK airport on Wednesday despite recommendations against travel

Travelers line up in JFK airport on Wednesday despite recommendations against travel

Thanksgiving travelers leaving Pen Station in New York on Wednesday

Thanksgiving travelers leaving Pen Station in New York on Wednesday

Thanksgiving travelers leaving Pen Station in New York on Wednesday

Cars enter Manhattan from the Holland Tunnel, where COVID-19 checkpoints will be in place

Cars enter Manhattan from the Holland Tunnel, where COVID-19 checkpoints will be in place

Cars enter Manhattan from the Holland Tunnel, where COVID-19 checkpoints will be in place

This strategy has been criticized by some who believe that a national procedure was needed to ensure that the country’s outbreak doesn’t worsen as a result of the holiday.

Dr. Krutika Kuppalli, an infectious disease researcher at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, told CNBC that state and local governments are doing ‘the best they can’ to implement effective restrictions that drive down the spread.

However, she felt that a national plan was the only way forward given the level of interstate travel.

‘I’ve been touting this since the beginning of the pandemic: We need a national plan,’ she said.

‘The fact that we don’t have a national plan to me is such a complete and utter travesty, because what happens is, we now have 50 states doing 50 different things.’

The approach taken in different states to the Thanksgiving weekend have varied dramatically.

New York City 

In New York City, checkpoints at bridges, tunnels and other keys crossings will have cops out ‘in force’ to inform travelers of the state’s quarantine requirements.

Travelers into New York are required to have a negative test before arriving and then again four days into their trip; if that’s negative, they can stop quarantining.

The rules don’t apply to neighboring states and New Yorkers who are out-of-state for less than 24 hours only need to take a coronavirus test within four days of returning to the state.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that further checkpoints will be set up at Lincoln Tunnel

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that further checkpoints will be set up at Lincoln Tunnel

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that further checkpoints will be set up at Lincoln Tunnel

The checkpoints in NYC will warn travelers of the quarantine requirements in the state

The checkpoints in NYC will warn travelers of the quarantine requirements in the state

The checkpoints in NYC will warn travelers of the quarantine requirements in the state 

Test and trace tests will also be out in the city to help travelers with the rules, authorities said.

De Blasio said Tuesday: ‘We’re going to make sure that people are reminded constantly throughout this whole holiday season that if you travel there are very clear rules that you have to follow.

‘You’re going to see the presence of the city of New York when you travel, particularly through our Sheriff’s Office, you’re going to see that there are really clear rules to be followed and they will be enforced.’

Those who violate the rules face a fine of $2,000, he added.

However, some local sheriffs have voiced a reluctance and even refusal to enforce some of Cuomo restrictions ahead of the holiday.

Erie County Sheriff Tim Howard stated that his deputies would not be breaking up gatherings in private homes if they broke the mandate on parties limited to ten people.

‘This national holiday has created longstanding family traditions that are at the heart of America, and these traditions should not be stopped or interrupted by Governor Cuomo’s mandates,’ Howard said.

Cuomo addressed the issue on Tuesday stating that he does not believe the requirements should be driven by law enforcement but by New Yorkers themselves.

Pictured, travelers in JFK on Thanksgiving Eve. Millions are still expected to travel

Pictured, travelers in JFK on Thanksgiving Eve. Millions are still expected to travel

Pictured, travelers in JFK on Thanksgiving Eve. Millions are still expected to travel

Travelers leave NYC in droves even though officials are saying to stay home this holiday

Travelers leave NYC in droves even though officials are saying to stay home this holiday

Travelers leave NYC in droves even though officials are saying to stay home this holiday

NYC travelers departing from Penn Station despite the warnings against travel

NYC travelers departing from Penn Station despite the warnings against travel

NYC travelers departing from Penn Station despite the warnings against travel

‘I believe this is 100% driven by personal behavior. The local enforcement has been minimal at best, always. I have lamented about the lack of local government’s enforcement daily,’ Cuomo said.  

‘But I don’t believe it’s about government enforcement. We have 98% mask compliance not because government does it but because people decided to do it… I could have never enforced the stay-home policy. Government can’t enforce social distancing. Government can’t enforce mask wearing.’

Los Angeles

Ahead of the holiday, Los Angeles has also now introduced an online form like that in NYC that asks air travelers to acknowledge that there is a recommendation to quarantine for 14 days.

The quarantine is not a requirement in the state, however, and the CDC has already suggested that it may shorten the quarantine time from the two weeks currently recommended to between eight and ten days.

‘We’re asking everyone to cancel non-essential travel. If you must travel, travelers arriving at LAX or Van Nuys Airport from another state or country will be required, starting tomorrow, to fill out an online form to acknowledge California’s recommended 14-day self-quarantine,’ Mayor Eric Garcetti said of the form.

New York and California are among the few states that have asked travelers from out of state to quarantine. 

Alaska, Connecticut, D.C., Maryland, Massachusetts and Hawaii require a quarantine unless negative tests results can be shown.  

Illinois also has a color coded system that indicates whether a traveler needs to obtain a negative test or quarantine. 

Kansas has quarantine restrictions in place for travelers from the Dakotas. 

Kentucky has a 14-day quarantine recommendation in place for Alabama, Arizona, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming.

In Maine, all travelers must quarantine apart from those from New Hampshire and Vermont. New Hampshire and Oregon also have a 14-day self-quarantine in place.  

Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that air travelers to Los Angeles will be asked to fill out an online form acknowledging the 14-day quarantine recommendation

Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that air travelers to Los Angeles will be asked to fill out an online form acknowledging the 14-day quarantine recommendation

Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that air travelers to Los Angeles will be asked to fill out an online form acknowledging the 14-day quarantine recommendation

Travelers are screened and have their temperature checked by airline employees in LAX

Travelers are screened and have their temperature checked by airline employees in LAX

Travelers are screened and have their temperature checked by airline employees in LAX

Pennsylvania & Maryland increase law enforcement 

Pennsylvania is among the states to have introduced the most robust measures in recent weeks as the holiday approached.

As well as imploring residents to forgo large gatherings, Gov. Wolf has introduced a one-night shutdown of alcohol sales for in-person consumption at places like bars and restaurants. The shutoff will begin at 5pm on Wednesday.

He also announced that there will be heightened presence from law enforcement but gave no further details on the specifics of these patrols.

‘We have been enforcing these regulations… we have a hotline… so that labor and industry, the state police, whomever can intervene and help protect and try to keep workers and customers safe.,’ he said.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has introduced a similar approach with the ‘High Visibility Compliance Units’ sending out state troopers to patrol near bars, restaurants and event venues to crack down on any public gatherings.

‘With the new surge of #COVID19 intensifying in Maryland and across the nation, today I announced a wide-scale compliance, education, and enforcement operation to help stop the virus and keep Maryland open for business,’ Hogan said.

‘Ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, @MDSP is expanding its COVID-19 Compliance and Coordination Center and deploying High Visibility Compliance Units across the state. This operation will continue throughout the holiday season.’

In New Mexico, Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced in a Twitter post that the state will ‘hit reset’ and a statewide stay-at-home order began on November 16 to discourage travel.

New Mexicans were instructed to shelter in place and stay at home apart from essential trips. All non-essential and non-profit business were forced to close their in-person activities.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has also announced a heightened presence from law enforcement and a curfew on alcohol sale on Thanksgiving Eve to cut down on social gatherings

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has also announced a heightened presence from law enforcement and a curfew on alcohol sale on Thanksgiving Eve to cut down on social gatherings

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has also announced a heightened presence from law enforcement and a curfew on alcohol sale on Thanksgiving Eve to cut down on social gatherings

In New Mexico, Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced in a Twitter post that the state will 'hit reset' and a statewide stay-at-home order began on November 16

In New Mexico, Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced in a Twitter post that the state will 'hit reset' and a statewide stay-at-home order began on November 16

In New Mexico, Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced in a Twitter post that the state will ‘hit reset’ and a statewide stay-at-home order began on November 16

Grisham warned that law enforcement can only go so far

Grisham warned that law enforcement can only go so far

Grisham warned that law enforcement can only go so far

Again, however, Grisham warned that ‘state enforcement can only go so far’ as she urged residents to comply.

‘It doesn’t work without compliance, without individual accountability to your community,’ she said.

In Minnesota, Gov. Tim Walz announced a blanket ban on social gatherings

‘Except as specifically permitted in this Executive Order, social gatherings are prohibited,’ the Walz executive order says. 

‘Social gatherings are groups of individuals, who are not members of the same household, congregated together for a common or coordinated social, community, or leisure purpose—even if social distancing can be maintained. This prohibition includes indoor and outdoor gatherings, planned and spontaneous gatherings, and public and private gatherings.’

Oregon Governor Kate Boren has also announced a ‘two-week’ freeze on most activities and nonessential businesses across the state, while in Washington, Gov. Jay Inslee ordered a one-month ban on indoor services at restaurants and gyms and reduced in-store retail capacity to 25 percent.

In Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued a ban on in-person high school and college classes, as well as indoor dining service for three weeks, as she hoped to keep people at home over Thanksgiving.

Passengers leaving JFK ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday on Wednesday

Passengers leaving JFK ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday on Wednesday

Passengers leaving JFK ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday on Wednesday

Airline crew members wear full hazmat suits as they arrive at LAX on Tuesday

Airline crew members wear full hazmat suits as they arrive at LAX on Tuesday

Airline crew members wear full hazmat suits as they arrive at LAX on Tuesday

Travelers wearing protective masks check in at a United Airlines desk at San Francisco International Airport on Tuesday despite the rising coronavirus cases in the state

Travelers wearing protective masks check in at a United Airlines desk at San Francisco International Airport on Tuesday despite the rising coronavirus cases in the state

Travelers wearing protective masks check in at a United Airlines desk at San Francisco International Airport on Tuesday despite the rising coronavirus cases in the state

And in Rhode Island, Gov. Gina Raimondo called for a ‘two-week pause’ with businesses closures and reduced restaurant capacity. The pause will be reviewed on December 13 when the state may go into a further lockdown.

In Vermont Governor Phil Scott remained worried about Thanksgiving travel Tuesday despite a dip in new cases there as he implored residents to rethink their plans. 

He directed schools to as students if they had been a part of a multi-family Thanksgiving gathering, requiring those who have done so to transition to online learning for 14 days.   

On local level, cities are also trying to encourage residents to remain home through stay at home orders though there are limited details on how strictly they will be enforced.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot introduced a nonbinding 30-day stay-at-home advisory as she advised residents to cancel Thanksgiving plans and stay at home unless they need to go to work or school or to tend to essential needs.

In Newark, New Jersey, Mayor Ras Baraka has issued a stay at home order for ten days starting from Wednesday to slow the spread of the coronavirus in the state’s largest city.

‘We want only folks to come out for essential purposes. Do not go outside if you don’t have to. Don’t mingle with other people if you don’t have to. Stay (with) your family in your immediate household,’ he said.

Many of the states and cities that have introduced measures so far are led by Democrats, although Republican led states are also moving to bring in mask measures and curfews as Thanksgiving approaches.

In Ohio, Gov. Mike DeWine introduced tougher enforcement measures on a mask mandate for businesses last week and after months of refusals, Iowa Gov Kim Reynolds ordered residents over two to wear a mask inside a public space from this week.

Utah, New Hampshire and North Dakota have also introduced a mask mandate.

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged Americans not to travel or spend the holiday with people outside their household.

Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, said, ‘This is really a call to action for every American to increase their vigilance.’  

Airports and airlines themselves are also taking greater precautions with deep cleaning and disinfecting as well as mask requirements. 

Despite the warnings, millions are still traveling this holiday, with the Transportation Security Administration this past Sunday screening over 1 million people for only the second time since the start of the pandemic.

Yet with the Thanksgiving warnings, the CDC has also announced that they are reviewing their advice on a 14-day quarantine and may shorten the length of time needed.

Among its other recommendations, the CDC has suggested that Americans forego caroling, loud music and even drinking alcohol over the holidays.

More than 260,000 Americans have died from coronavirus with over 12.6million cases confirmed nationally.

Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk

The post States crack down in a final bid to stop millions traveling across the US for Thanksgiving appeared first on 247 News Around The World.

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