Man: The following segment is sponsored by Martin, Harding & Mazzotti.
Interviewer: Governor Cuomo has announced a travel enforcement operation that would affect travelers entering New York from a state that has a significant degree of community widespread COVID-19. Here to help examine this issue is managing partner, Paul Harding, of the law firm of Martin, Harding & Mazzotti. Paul, welcome.
Paul: Thank you.
Interviewer: Will you just explain this enforcement?
Paul: Yeah, we saw a few weeks ago that the governor, you know, as this ever growing list of states that go on and off the high rate of COVID-19, said, “Listen, if you’re coming into the state airport or you could drive in, you’ve got a 14-day quarantine.” So one of the things they were doing at the airport is saying, “Okay, fill out this form, stop here, let us know where you’ve been, let us know where you’re gonna go, and if by chance that you do end up with COVID-19 our tracers and we can kind of help better regulate our state.” The question is, the enforcement of that was pretty unknown.
Interviewer: What sort of repercussions can people face?
Paul: Well, now that they’ve come out and said it could be a $2,000 fine if you don’t do this. And also get a sense that there’s gonna be a little more of record keeping, meaning, people are all gonna get these forms, not get off the plane and here’s a form if you want to fill it out, it’s kind of, here’s the form if you want to get out of here quick, fill it out before you land, turn it in, and if you don’t do it, you face up to a $2,000 fine.
Interviewer: So does the government have the authority to take such action and is there any sort of precedent for something like this?
Paul: You think about if you’ve ever traveled outside the country, you come in, you go through customs, right? Customs says, “You bringing any fruits?” right? “Did you spend any money? And if so, what are you bringing in?” It’s that theme, but let’s call it what it is. We don’t have customs in Albany, right? We can’t set that up overnight, but the reality of it is they probably don’t have that in place but a $2,000 fine, most of us want to do the right thing, I think we’re gonna see a lot more compliance, but I don’t think we’re gonna see 100% compliance because simply you could just fill out the form pass by, put it in and keep walking.
Interviewer: All right. Some helpful information there. For more information on what your rights are, be sure to visit our website cbs6albany.com.