Mayor Ras J. Baraka is asking the federal Transportation Security Administration, the Port Authority of New York/New Jersey, and Governor Phil Murphy to order all passengers arriving at Newark Liberty International Airport from the 22 states designated as high-risk COVID-19 areas to have their temperatures checked, be quarantined if they have coronavirus symptoms, and fill out forms for potential contact tracing.
“It only makes sense,” Mayor Baraka said. “New Jersey asks people from these high-risk states to self-quarantine and to get tested. Here in Newark, we have worked with fury and diligence to contain this virus and our daily number of new cases have fallen to single digits, if at all.
“As COVID-19 cases and death spike in other parts of the country, it is important we keep the virus here manageable to protect our residents. I’d like to see the airport be a first-line of defense.”
Of particular concern are the number of Newark residents who work at the airport, the Mayor said.
“Our people work in the service areas that come in constant contact with arriving passengers,” Mayor Baraka said. “Going to work should not put them at further risk.”
New Jersey, Connecticut, and New York announced joint restrictions for travelers from high-risk states last week, which now include Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin.
“These visitors should also be told masks are required in the City of Newark and the State of New Jersey when they are in public,” he said. “It may have been lax where they came from, but we are going to insist they mask up.”
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