NEW YORK (WABC) -- New York City announced some new regulations for travelers coming in from the United Kingdom, in response to news of a new variant of the coronavirus.
Starting Wednesday, passengers traveling from the UK will receive a DOH Commissioner's Order to quarantine via certified mail.
Additionally, UK travelers will be personally served DOH Commissioner's Order to quarantine by the Sheriff's Office, and the Travel Unit will door knock to ensure compliance of these orders.
"This is going to be the busiest travel time of the year when you think about all these days, up through New Year's intensive travel time," de Blasio said. "We need people not to travel but if they do, we're going to be very, very stringent about the rules."
For those who don't comply, there will be a $1,000 fine per day of noncompliance.
"We are going to have sheriff's deputies go to the home or the hotel of every single traveler coming in from the UK," de Blasio said. "So when they arrive at the airport, they're going to have to fill out the form notifying us that they are coming into New York City. We're going to provide them with that commissioners order, but then there's going to be a follow up, direct home visit or hotel visit from the sheriff's deputy to confirm that they are following the quarantine, or if they are not, they will be penalized. We cannot take chances with anyone who travels particularly folks traveling in for the UK. So, to everyone. Look, if you don't comply with the quarantine. That's $1,000 fine. To begin, they want if you continue, not to comply with the quarantine is $1,000 for each additional day I want to really make sure we get this point across. You don't want to penalize people. Everyone's been through hell this year. We don't want to, but if you don't follow quarantine you're endangering everyone else in the city, right as we're fighting the second wave."
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On Tuesday, Governor Andrew Cuomo said that he's working with several hospitals and labs in the state to begin testing for the variant.
"If it's here, we want to know it, we want to isolate it immediately," he said.
Wadsworth Laboratory has begun aggressive research of the new, highly contagious COVID-19 strain. Already, Wadsworth has looked at more than 3,700 virus sequences identified in New York, but has yet to find the U.K. variant present in any of the samples.
Additionally, Wadsworth and the Department of Health have forged agreements with six hospitals from across the State to obtain additional samples and is continuing to make arrangements with other hospitals to do the same.
Meantime, Virgin Atlantic, British Airways and Delta Air Lines have all agreed to test passengers coming to New York City from the United Kingdom.
The new mutation of COVID-19 is blamed for the rapid spread in Southern England.
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