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Gov. Lamont to require travelers from COVID-19 hot spots to check in at airport

Coronavirus

CONNECTICUT (WTNH) — Four more states were added and one was removed from the tri-state travel advisory on Tuesday, asking people to voluntary quarantine for 14 days upon arriving in Connecticut.

The new states are Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin and New Mexico. Delaware is now off the list.

This comes as Governor Ned Lamont plans to start a ‘certification process’ to track people arriving by plane in Connecticut from Covid-19 hot spots.

While Connecticut’s COVID transmission rate is among the lowest in the country, officials believe it’s hardly time to ease up on the throttle.

Related: CT’s travel advisory list expands to 22 states with high COVID-19 infection rates, removes one

Governor Lamont said this is a continuing time to be cautious. In fact, he said the idea now is to tighten up the requirement for quarantine for those coming from highly infected states.

On Monday, Lamont said he is making sure the numbers stay low by tracking where travelers are coming from. It’s part of his new certification policy.

“When you’re on that plane, you have to certify,” he said. “We know where you’re coming from, but [we want to know] where you’re gonna be staying, how you’re going to quarantine, who you are traveling with. You’ll be filling out that form and giving it to us when you land. If we find somebody’s tested positive on the flight or otherwise, it makes it easier to track and trace and make sure that we keep an eye on things.”

Lamont said law enforcement will be at airports to help.

“Right now, when you get off the plane you’re gonna have to self-certify,” he said. “This is where you’re gonna quarantine. Maybe there will be a state police officer nearby just to remind people how seriously we’re taking this. We can call in just to make sure you’re where you’re supposed to be when you quarantine. I know we are thinking about some fines in case people abuse the quarantine methodology, and we’ll be figuring that out over the next week or so.”

For now, the policy will only apply to those flying.

“I think most of those drivers don’t drive up from Florida per se, but maybe they would rent a car at LaGuardia Airport or something, and there, New York is going to be tracking them carefully and we coordinate with them,” the governor said.

People at Bradley were masked up Tuesday, taking their chances flying into states like Georgia where Coronavirus cases are spreading.

Grocery store worker Denise Bathgate capitalized on low airfares to visit her daughter.

“I was exposed the entire time and so what I’ve learned from that is what we’re doing is working…hand washing, sanitizing, distancing, so I’m just going to do the same thing when I go to Georgia,” said Bathgate.

But flying back into Hartford will be a different story. However, travelers that News 8 spoke to say they’re prepared to stay home.

“It will hurt losing the pay but I totally get it. Especially since my job that I go back to could expose so many people,” said Bathgate.

“I work from home right now. Lucky enough to be able to work remotely so it’s been really good in that sense. So, I’ll be able to stay home,” said Scott Miller, Warren, Mass.

The move makes it easier for health officials to do contact tracing should someone bring the virus to Connecticut.

In April, Connecticut was recording more than 100 coronavirus deaths a day. The number topped out at 204 on April 20, but twice last week the state reported no COVID-19 deaths from the previous day.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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