The Slatest

CDC Calls on NY, NJ, and Connecticut Residents to “Refrain” From Nonessential Travel

A Newly installed sign encouraging social distancing to stop the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) is displayed on a closed park as the skyline of Manhattan is seen From Weehawken New Jersey on March 28, 2020.
A Newly installed sign encouraging social distancing to stop the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) is displayed on a closed park as the skyline of Manhattan is seen From Weehawken New Jersey on March 28, 2020.
KENA BETANCUR/Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a rare domestic travel advisory in which it calls on residents of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut “to refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14 days effective immediately.” The governors of the three states had already called on residents to stay home but the advisory came shortly after President Donald Trump said he was backing off his earlier threat to issue an “enforceable” quarantine on the three states but said he would ask the CDC to issue “a strong Travel Advisory.”

The advisory against domestic travel “does not apply to employees of critical infrastructure industries, including but not limited to trucking, public health professionals, financial services, and food supply,” the CDC said. It added that the governors of the three states “will have full discretion to implement this Domestic Travel Advisory.”

The governors of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut were seemingly taken aback Saturday by Trump’s suggestion of a quarantine. “I don’t even know what that means,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said, adding “I don’t know what you would be accomplishing.” Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont wrote a series of tweets essentially arguing that a quarantine was not necessary because residents had already been asked to stay home.

Even as Trump backed off his threat though, governors in several states have already been calling on people who arrive from the tri-state region to self-quarantine for at least 14 days after their arrival. Some took that even further, including Rhode Island, which tasked the National Guard and state police to pull over cars with New York plates and go door-to-door to enforce the quarantine. Cuomo expressed anger at these restrictions and warned of legal action. “We’re talking to Rhode Island,” Cuomo said. “If they don’t roll back that policy, I’m going to sue Rhode Island.”