Lockdown in New York
Due to fears of a second coronavirus wave, the state and city authorities in New York City have decided to reintroduce strict quarantine restrictions.
An increase in disease in some areas has been reported since late August, so it is no surprise that on 3 October Mayor Bill de Blasio proposed emergency measures in twenty hotspots in Brooklyn and Queens.
Governor Andrew Cuomo then presented his plan. The city is divided into zones: red (cluster, epicentre of infection), orange (cluster surroundings) and yellow (perimeter around the orange zone). Any mass gatherings are prohibited in the red zones, and churches, synagogues and prayer houses can accommodate up to 10 people at a time, or 25% of the total capacity of the premises. Restaurant halls are closed again (only meals are allowed), industrial goods shops and other establishments, except those with the status of vital (i.e. grocery and hardware shops are open). In the orange areas, no more than 10 people can gather in groups; in temples, no more than 25 people can pray at a time, or 33% of the total capacity. All 'high-risk' facilities are closed - hairdressing salons, beauty salons and gyms. Restaurants can only serve their visitors outside, and the number of guests at one table must not exceed four. Importantly, all schools, including private ones, are closed in both the red and orange areas.
In the green areas, companies are allowed to gather 25 people each. Up to 50% of parishioners can come to temples. All facilities are open, and restaurants serve patients both outside and inside (but also no more than 4 people at one table). The schools are open subject to mandatory weekly testing of both pupils and teachers.
Cuomo said: "Local authorities have a responsibility to tell all residents of these areas what zone they are in".
It has already been announced that fines for quarantine violations will be 15,000 dollars. The restrictions will last at least two weeks. Then, depending on the results, the authorities will decide whether to review these measures.