If you are traveling in and around New York – and especially New York City – this Thanksgiving, you had better have your papers together. Chances are, before you get to your destination, you will be encountering a COVID checkpoint.
In a move that triggers images of “Checkpoint Charlie” at the Berlin Wall, Nazi patrols during World War II, and Soviet KGB agents during the Cold War, New York’s governor – along with New York City’s major – have instituted police state checkpoints to check travelers for COVID.
At the order of Governor Andrew Cuomo, law enforcement teams will be “out in-force” as the holidays approach, stopping vehicles at pre-determined “checkpoints” throughout New York City and its surrounding areas to check those traveling for COVID documentation.
Thought this was America? https://t.co/TcXpo3rFB1
— House Judiciary GOP (@JudiciaryGOP) November 25, 2020
New York City Sheriff Joseph Fucito, standing next to Progressive Mayor Bill de Blasio (D), said Tuesday, “Sheriff teams will be out in-force as the holidays approach. There will be vehicle checkpoints at key bridges and crossings throughout New York City.”
Fucito warned that “there will be consequences” for violating the travel quarantine.
“Violation of a self-quarantine travel regulation may result in deputy sheriffs serving you a mandatory quarantine order issued by the Health Commissioner,” Fucito said. “In cases of violation, Deputies could serve you with a civil summons that carries a $1,000 fine.”
Fucito continued on to say that Sheriff teams would also be executing checkpoints at curbside drop off bus stops, explaining that they will be “serving Department of Health general orders for travelers arriving in New York, advising them of the quarantine and what they have to do in order to comply with the quarantine.”
NEW YORK TO ENFORCE QUARANTINE RULES: New York City will have vehicle checkpoints at key bridges and crossings, and will strictly enforce the travel quarantine, Sheriff Joseph Fucito said.
— VINnews (@VINNews) November 24, 2020
Echoing the words issued early by the mayor, Fucito said his checkpoint strike teams would be primarily concentrating on large-scale gatherings.
Under Cuomo’s draconian COVID orders, gatherings by more than ten individuals, even in private homes and for any reason, are prohibited. “Nonessential” gatherings of “any size” are not permitted in a coronavirus “red” zone.
Cuomo conjured the images of Nazi SS teams in his announcement when he said, “The rules are only as good as the enforcement…There are only two fundamental truths in this situation: it’s individual discipline and it’s government enforcement. Period. End of sentence.”
“I need the local governments to enforce this,” Cuomo added.
In a constitutional act of defiance, several county sheriffs have indicated they will not enforce the governor’s edicts. These sheriffs include Fulton County Sheriff Richard Giardino and Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard.