The NYPD and other government agencies have been patrolling NYC Parks and streets to warn people if they’re not practicing safe enough social distancing measures (at least six feet apart), and now they will fine people who aren’t listening.
Mayor de Blasio had previously authorized the use of fines in parks and playgrounds if needed, in the range of $250-500. But, in a press conference by NYS Governor Cuomo today (April 6), he said he was increasing the maximum fine for violations of State social distancing protocols to $1,000.
In the conference, he said that with the weather turning warmer, people must resist the desire to go outside.
“Frankly, there has been a laxness on social distancing, especially over this past weekend, that is just wholly unacceptable,” he said. “People are dying. People in the healthcare system are exposing themselves every day to tremendous risk…If I can’t convince you to show discipline for yourself, then show discipline for other people.”
He explained that your “irresponsibility” could put a “burden on all sorts of other people.”
Today I am increasing the maximum fine for violations of state-mandated social distancing rules from $500 to $1000.
This is an enemy we have underestimated since day one.
This is not the time to be lax. We need to #StayHome and stay properly distanced.
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) April 6, 2020
“People, especially in New York City, the level of activity is up,” he said, as he pointed to a slide with photos from the weekend that still showed NYC Parks extremely crowded. “I understand that the weather is nice, that people have been locked up for a long time, but now is not the time to be lax and it is a mistake. We all have a responsibility, we all have a role in this. We said that from day one, and we have to respect the role that we must play.”
He also called for local governments to be more aggressive in their enforcement of the social distancing rules.
You can see why from these photos and videos from this past weekend on social media:
Astoria Park today.
You cannot ask healthcare workers to risk their lives for us while many in the city continue to purposefully and selfishly act this way.
Close NYC parks now. pic.twitter.com/GeBdF5WrOV
— Melissa of Queens (@KinsellaMelissa) April 5, 2020
.@NYGovCuomo I will hate to see parks close, but access to them is no longer a privilege we deserve…Central Park 3PM today. 1 day after the worst day on record for #NYC in #covid19 deaths. Parks need to shut down b4 it gets any warmer. This is so irresponsible of all of us. pic.twitter.com/7j7J8s8nvU
— kate hallett (@HallettKate) April 4, 2020
Shelter in place, Brooklyn! Unless it’s sunny and warm. Then let’s all meet at the park. pic.twitter.com/Q5mEdHedyV
— Michael C Moynihan (@mcmoynihan) April 5, 2020
Despite the shit weather they have torn down the caution tape and continued using the gym equipment in McCarren Park 😑 pic.twitter.com/Ia976tyhyN
— Skankin’ Sickle (@therobotbox) March 30, 2020
featured image source: Twitter / @joshmorrissey