NY to eliminate domestic travel quarantine Thursday as top health officials worry of new wave
Starting Thursday, travelers to New York will no longer be required to quarantine, in an easing of restrictions that comes as cases spike.
The restrictions apply to domestic travelers into the state. Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the change earlier this month.
Paul Eterno, of Nesconset, is one of several travelers who told News 12 that they look forward to the quarantine requirement being done away with,
"I think it's great. Should have happened a long time ago," says Eterno. "People are tired of being quarantined. They want to get back to life as it was and the faster we do that, the better off we'll all be."
But medical experts say parts of the country are reopening too fast.
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"This is a critical moment in our fight against the pandemic," says CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky. "As we see increases in cases, we can't afford to let our guard down."
Walensky is sounding the alarm about a possible fourth COVID-19 surge. Walensky says there's now about 62,000 new COVID-19 cases per day, representing a nearly 12% increase from a week ago.
On Monday, President Joe Biden called for mask mandates to be maintained or reinstated across the country in order to keep cases down.
The White House COVID-19 Response team followed up Wednesday by urging governors and mayors to listen to the president.
"We need to keep case numbers down so we can save lives, give people the chance to get vaccinated in April, May and June so we can enter the summer on the strongest footing possible," says White House COVID-19 response senior adviser Andy Slavitt.
Selden native Jackie Dixon says lifting the travel quarantine is a step toward getting back to normal, but that it's not time to totally relax all mitigation methods just yet.
"I think if people are smart about just being careful, keeping their masks on and washing their hands then I'm very happy with that," says Dixon.