New York, New Jersey and Connecticut to quarantine visitors from coronavirus hot spots

Visitors from coronavirus hotspots will have to quarantine for 14 days if they set foot in New York, New Jersey or Connecticut, the governors of those northeastern states said Wednesday.

Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Washington, Utah and Texas have high enough infection rates to warrant this new quarantine advisory, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.

Residents of those states are not being barred from coming to New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, so Wednesday's action is largely advisory.

"We've taken our people ... though hell and back," New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy told reporters, via a remote feed in a briefing hosted by Cuomo in Albany. "This virus is risky enough on its own, in terms of the potential to flare back up."

Those nine states from the South and Midwest are now on the quarantine list based on rolling, seven-day averages of infection rates, according to Cuomo.

"The states themselves can change as the infection rate changes. And we'll update daily what states are above that infection rate," Cuomo said.

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"Again it’s just common sense and it’s the sprit of community. If you're in a place that has a high infection rate, we understand that and we'll help you in any way we can."

Earlier on Wednesday, Gov. Cuomo hinted at the quarantine.

"We have to make sure other states don't infect us now," Cuomo told NBC's "Today" show. "So we're now afraid that we have the low infection rate. People get on a plane and they come to New York. And I have people calling me all day long, saying they're worried about where they are. They want to come to New York — and that's great, but we don't want them bringing the virus here."

New York state, and New York City in particular, were the hotspots of the virus back in March and April.

But after weeks of business shutdowns, the infection and death rates have been dramatically lowered.

Cuomo lashed out at states that have been more aggressive in restarting businesses.

"Those states that had this blind, 'OK let's do whatever we want to do and we'll reopen immediately,' they have serious problems now," Cuomo told "Today."

"Anyone who thinks we could have opened sooner, look at Florida, look at Arizona, look at Texas, look at the other 23 states that are going up, and it shows that we were smart and right."