WASHINGTON — A mandate from D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser requires people traveling from coronavirus hot spots to self-quarantine for 14 days.
Since the order was enforced in July, people have wondered how the rules are being enforced.
The sources for this story are a spokesperson from the D.C. mayor’s office, Mayor’s Order 2020-081, the online D.C. law library, and the New York State Health Department.
Two weeks ago, Mayor Bowser announced 27 high-risk states where travelers coming from those COVID-19 hotspots would need to self-isolate for 14 days.
WUSA9 reached out to the mayor’s office to ask how the rule is being enforced, and a spokesperson sent a copy of Mayor’s Order 2020-081.
The order details the requirement to self-quarantine in the District after some travel.
The order states the rules would be enforced in two ways.
First, businesses may require employees or customers to confirm compliance with the order before providing service or allowing entry.
The order also states the city reserves the right to exercise provisions of the Communicable and Preventable Diseases Act.
WUSA9 searched the D.C. Law Library and found the act gives the mayor several powers, such as, enforcing quarantines, removing sick people out of the city in some cases, and to discipline people who break the rules.
The act states that anyone who willfully violates the regulations could face a fine of up to $1,000 and/or get locked up for up to a month.
However, the act did not explain how the city would track if people were following the rules.
A spokesperson never responded when WUSA9 specifically asked for more details about enforcement.
In New York, travelers are required to fill out a form online.
If a person is coming from a place the state deems a COVID-19 hotspot, they may get a phone call, text, or random check-ins to make sure they are complying.
If someone violates their rule, they may be hit with a $10,000 fine.
New York City also has checkpoints for people traveling into its city to remind them of the rules.
There is no indication that D.C. will do anything like New York, but it was one of the only states WUSA9 reached out to that could give detailed specifics about how it was enforcing travel restrictions.