Coronavirus News: Cuomo increasing National Guard at airports to enforce COVID rules

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Anyone thinking of traveling to New York for Thanksgiving should be aware of new quarantine rules in the state.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says you should not land in New York if you do not have proof of a negative COVID-19 test.

Cuomo announced Friday he has called for increased police and National Guard presence at the airports to better enforce the state's new testing rules going into the holiday.

"We are worried about holiday season, we are worried about behavior inside the state, we are worried about behavior outside the state," Cuomo said. "People should be cautious about small gatherings this year. I've said we have a very strict quarantine policy in place for the holiday weekend travel period. We are going to be increasing enforcement personnel at the New York airports."

RELATED | Updated New York travel restrictions take effect, NJ and CT stick with advisory

Anyone who arrives in New York needs to take a test three days before arrival that must be negative, then quarantine for three days after arrival, and finally take another test on day four after arrival.

Essential workers and travelers from bordering states are exempt from the new restrictions.

Cuomo said he spoke to Mayor Bill de Blasio about increasing the NYPD at the airports and he wants people to know he is serious.

Travel expert Molly Fergus said the new rules will provide more flexibility, but will also require travelers to prepare.

"Pack this into your plans to get the test and then prepare for contingencies, so if you are positive, what does that mean, talk to your employer, talk to families, check cancellation and return policies," Fergus said.

The decision from the governor comes as the U.S. has set yet another coronavirus record as 116,000 cases were reported Thursday. Experts predict the numbers will keep going up as the weather cools down.

College students also remain an area of concern and Cuomo says they have been "highly problematic."

RELATED | CDC releases guidelines for Thanksgiving

SUNY will move to online learning after Thanksgiving so students do not return with the virus. They will be tested before they leave.

The governor is now asking private colleges to do the same, and if not, let him know their policy.

"I need to make a decision whether the state is going to set a policy for private colleges," he said.

Meanwhile, restrictions in some New York City pandemic hot spots will be rolled back even as the state plans to combat flare-ups in and around upstate New York's largest cities, Cuomo also said Friday.

The actions being considered for the Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse areas reflect the shifting state strategy as COVID-19 becomes a widespread problem beyond New York City, once an epicenter of the pandemic.

RELATED | NYC pandemic restrictions eased as problems spread upstate
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Restrictions in some New York City pandemic hot spots will be rolled back even as the state plans to combat flare-ups in and around upstate New York's largest cities.



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