New York City will start handing out hefty fines Friday as the city and state step up enforcement of new COVID restrictions amid months-long highs in total hospitalizations that have followed soaring infection rates in some areas.
Penalties of up to $15,000 a day apply for violations on mass gathering rules; in red cluster areas, those are banned entirely. Twenty-five percent capacity or a max of 10 people caps apply to houses of worship, while schools switch all-remote and nonessential businesses have been shut down. Fines of up to $1,000 a day accompany social distancing and mask-wearing infractions — and Mayor Bill de Blasio has warned people who don’t adhere to the rules will face consequences.
Orange and red cluster zone areas see varying restrictions, though schools are only allowed to stay in-person, with mandatory weekly testing, within the latter. The new restrictions are in place for at least two weeks; they won’t be lifted until the infection rate trend reverts to the numbers New York has seen this summer.