• Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Mayor calls Cuomo ending NY mandatory domestic travel quarantine 'April Fool's joke'

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Domestic travelers will no longer be required to quarantine after entering New York from another U.S. State or U.S. Territory starting April 1st.

Video Transcript

- Turning to the coronavirus pandemic, Mayor de Blasio is blasting Governor Cuomo's decision to lift the state's quarantine rules for domestic travelers. In fact, the mayor is so upset the city was not consulted. He's calling the move an April Fool's joke. Eyewitnesses News reporter NJ Burkett live at the Javits Center with more. NJ?

NJ BURKETT: Well, that's right, Dave. Mayor de Blasio is clearly still seething over the domestic quarantine order that was said to be going to be rescinded as of April 1. And yes, he said at his press briefing this morning to reporters that it was, or at least sounded like, an April Fool's joke. But in fact, as of April 1, the governor announced that anybody arriving in New York from another state need not quarantine, Dave, or even get tested.

Although, the rule will still apply to international travelers, the rate of vaccination continues to ramp up here in New York. 2.6 million people have now been vaccinated here in the city of New York, halfway to the mayor's goal of 5 million by June. But the virus variants continue to cause concern. It was reported today, Dave, that the New York variant first identified in upper Manhattan, as you know, has now been detected in Texas. It's yet another reason to be vigilant about stopping the spread of COVID-19. And here's what the mayor and his experts said about quarantines.

BILL DE BLASIO: I don't know if that's the State's idea of an April Fool's joke, but it's absolutely the wrong thing to do. It's reckless. It doesn't help us with our recovery.

JAY VARMA: Throughout this epidemic, we've seen that travel-associated cases have represented anywhere from 5% to 10% of all of the cases that we see here in New York City. That may not seem like a lot. But as we know with this disease, even one case can lead to an outbreak and spread.

NJ BURKETT: And now the video from upstate New York. This morning the State's Lieutenant Governor, Kathy Hochul, got her vaccination for COVID-19 up in Buffalo, New York. I'm told she got the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine. She becomes the highest ranking state official to receive the vaccine for COVID-19. Governor Cuomo has said several times that he will not get the shot until it becomes widely available to citizens of the state of New York in minority communities.