Calling it the common sense thing to do, Gov. Phil Murphy joined with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont in announcing a recommended 14-day quarantine for anyone entering the three states from a state where the number of COVID-19 cases is sharply rising.
“We are advising visitors to our region from highly impacted states — states with current daily test positivity percentages topping more than 10% over a seven-day rolling average — to join us in this mission by taking proper measures when coming to New Jersey, including a period of self-quarantine upon arrival,” Murphy said.
The advisory applies to New Jersey residents who have left the state, as well as visitors coming in, Murphy said.
Murphy, speaking at his daily COVID-19 briefing, said there was little the state could do to enforce the advisory — though Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli does have some authority to deal with those who are especially flagrant.
“Constitutionally, we’re not able to put up border checks around New Jersey,” he said. “I think we’re asking folks to take on a big amount of personal responsibility to do the right thing for themselves as well as for their families, communities and the rest of us.”
Murphy, however, made it clear: This is more than just a recommendation.
“This is not a polite recommendation; it is a strong advisory,” he said.
Murphy repeated a statement he has made many times: He doesn’t want a return of the March/April scenario. He said New Jersey — as well as New York and Connecticut — is likely to produce a public relations campaign to get the word out.
Anything, Murphy said, to avoid a repeat of the past.
“We have taken our people through hell and back, and the last thing we need to do now is to subject our folks to another round,” he said. “And this virus is risky enough on its own in terms of the potential to flare back up.
“So, doing something common sense as this, is to say to folks: ‘Listen, it’s time for personal responsibility. If you’ve been in a state that has a high infection rate, do the right thing — and that is taking 14 days in self-quarantining.’
“It’s the right thing to do, it’s the common sense thing to do, it’s the responsible thing to do.”
For Murphy, it’s a matter of shared sacrifice.
“Ours was the most-impacted region in the nation, and among the most-impacted in the world,” he said. “We welcome everyone to New Jersey — but we simply ask you to join us in our shared sacrifice to keep ourselves moving in the right direction.”
Murphy said the Department of Health will provide further guidance later in the week.