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Photograph: Shutterstock/Sean Pavone

Mayor de Blasio advises New Yorkers not to travel for the holidays

The mayor says you shouldn't book those tickets to visit your family.

By
Shaye Weaver
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Mayor Bill de Blasio is urging New Yorkers to stay home this holiday season to prevent another wave and shutdown.

During Tuesday's press briefing, the mayor said traveling for Thanksgiving and the winter holidays is a major risk.

"It's not business as usual. I hate to say it but I have to urge all New Yorkers—do not travel out of state for the holidays," he said. "Realize that by [traveling to a state or country with a high virus rate], unfortunately, you could be putting yourself and your family in danger and the risk of bringing the disease back here."

For those who do travel, he asked people to adhere to the required quarantine of 14 days for travelers visiting or returning to New York from "hotspot" states and to get tested.

Later, he tweeted his warning: 

While he doesn't have any authority to actually ban travel, he is asking for a federal mandate that would require testing of airline passengers (only allowing those with negative results to travel) and said he'd bump up enforcement of New York State's quarantine requirement.

He also wants to increase ongoing testing at LaGuardia and JFK airports.  

"We can't let all of our progress slip away," he said. "We gotta be really clear we're coming up on another decisive moment with thanksgiving and Christmas and have to make the tough decisions to make everyone safe."

Those with family out of town already knew traveling might be off the table this holiday season, so the mayor's request doesn't come as a surprise.

Last month, NYC surpassed the 550 threshold of new cases after a number of clusters were found in Queens and Brooklyn. As of Sunday, there was a seven-day average of about 530 cases, the mayor said. Still, hospitalizations and deaths remain low. 

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