De Blasio Urges New Yorkers to Avoid Travel, Calls for Mandatory Testing Before Flights

NEW YORK -
Mayor Bill de Blasio holds a media availability in City Hall on Monday, October 26, 2020. (Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)

At his daily press conference in City Hall, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio warned New Yorkers to not leave the state for Thanksgiving and other holidays. For those who do travel, there is a mandatory fourteen day quarantine period for visiting states and countries on the New York State quarantine list.

“This year, when we, ironically and painfully, we want to see family the most, we want to see loved ones and friends the most, we’re feeling that lack of connection, but this is the year where we have to do things differently because we do see the level of infection rising all over the country,” de Blasio said. “I hate to say it, but I have to urge all New Yorkers, do not travel out of state for the holidays. Do not travel to a state with a high infection rate, do not travel to a country with a high infection rate. Realize that by doing that, unfortunately, you could be putting yourself and your family in danger and also the risk of bringing the disease back here.”

He called upon the federal government to mandate all airline travelers be required to present a negative coronavirus test for domestic and international flights. New York is currently rolling out a program in LaGuadria and JFK that offers free coronavirus tests available to travelers arriving in the city.

“This is the moment for the federal government to create a mandate that anyone who gets on an airplane has had a negative coronavirus test within the previous 72 hours,” de Blasio said.

Most states in America are on New York’s quarantine list, as coronavirus cases break daily records throughout the Midwest and South.

New York has also seen its positive rate rise to 2.48% in the city, but hospitalizations and deaths remain low.

The areas of concern in red zones have seen their infection rate go down, and de Blasio said he was hopeful restrictions might be eased by Governor Cuomo later this week. De Blasio thanked community leaders in the red zones areas of Brooklyn and Queens for their efforts expand testing.

“[M]uch higher levels of testing are playing a profound role here in helping us figure out the best way to address this crisis and overcome it. So, I want to thank everyone involved for that,” de Blasio said.