By Anthony Zepperi, Staff Writer
HARTFORD – Two residents were recently fined Monday for a violation of the state’s requirements from COVID-19 travel restrictions, according to Gov. Ned Lamont.
Both travelers, who came back from Louisiana and Florida, were fined $1,000 for failing to fill out a public-health form required of passengers landing at Bradley International Airport and the Louisiana traveler was fined an additional $1,000 for refusing to self-quarantine for 14 days, officials said.
Lamont said that safety is the number one priority and anyone who opposes these rules will be disciplined no matter what.
“I hate to do it, but we’re going to be serious and show people we are serious about this, and to date it’s made a difference,” Lamont said, in a press conference.
Anyone arriving from a state with a daily positive COVID test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents or has a 10 percent or higher positivity rate over a seven-day rolling average must fill out a disclosure form and, under most circumstances, self-quarantine for 14 days.
Louisiana and Florida are among the 34 states, as well as Puerto Rico, that are currently on the travel advisory list used by Connecticut, New York and New Jersey, three of the states hit the hardest by the pandemic, which now have low infection rates, according to state officials.
Recently, the state has had less than a one percent positive rate in recent weeks. Results released Monday for the past three days showed less than one percent of the 38,309 latest tests showed new infections, a sign of real progress.
The Department of Public Health issued the fines after investigations resulting from tips, at least in one case, from a co-worker, according to Josh Geballe, the governor’s chief operating officer.
According to Gebelle, 20,000 people have completed the COVID disclosure form, with another 1,000 filed each day.
Lamont applauded public health officials in Bridgeport for shutting down a half-dozen bars that were “masquerading as restaurants,” attracting large crowds.
Lamont said he appreciated everyone’s effort to slow the spread of the virus and encourages vigilance.
“Overwhelmingly, people are doing the right thing,” Lamont said. “For those who aren’t, please be on notice.”
Officials could not identify their names but were known to be from Windham and Harford counties.
Completing the COVID health form is required of anyone who has spent “24 hours or longer in one of these affected states within 14 days prior to arriving in Connecticut, and if you plan to stay in Connecticut for more than 24 hours,” Gebelle said.