One of the best ways everyone can help fight the spread of the coronavirus is to abide by social distancing standards. This means that groups of people should no longer congregate, regardless of size or where the group is spending time. In an effort to help enforce this, New York City mayor Bill de Blasio said the city will start fining those who refuse to do their part.
This message came during a Sunday press conference held by de Blasio, as reported by Politico. “You’ve been warned and warned and warned again,” the mayor said during the press conference. According to de Blasio, fines will typically range from $250 to $500, but only for those who refuse to move or return after being issued a warning from the police.
“They’re going to give people every chance to listen, and if anyone doesn’t listen, then they deserve a fine at this point,” de Blasio said. “I don’t want to fine people when so many folks are going through economic distress, but if they haven’t gotten the message by now, and they don’t get the message when an enforcement officer’s staring them in the face … that person then deserves the fine, so we’re going to proceed with that.”
It was also announced at the press conference that the New York MTA and New York City police will be monitoring subway cars to ensure proper distancing between riders. Those that fail to comply will be removed from the train and made to wait for a less crowded train. Additionally, the Staten Island Ferry’s schedule has been reduced, and now only one boat per hour will make the trip between Staten Island and the southern tip of Manhattan. Politico reports that this service has seen a drastic 86 percent reduction in usage over the past few weeks anyway.
Fox 8 has reported that the New York City parks system will also try to do what it can to reduce crowds. It was reported that tennis courts and soccer fields will begin removing nets to encourage people to stay home, and basketball hoops around the city are being removed.