NYC steps up social distancing enforcement, with $1,000 fines, as weather warms

Central Park social distancing coronavirus

Pedestrians and cyclists make their way through Central Park during the coronavirus pandemic Saturday, April 18, 2020.

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NEW YORK — As warmer weather tempts New Yorkers to head outside amid the COVID-19 outbreak,Mayor Bill de Blasio says folks must follow social distancing rules — or pay the price.

The mayor announced a social distancing enforcement blitz on Sunday. The NYPD and Department of Parks and Recreation are stepping up enforcement citywide, targeting hotspots for complaints and non-compliance.
Fines of up to $1,000 will be issued.

“No one wants to give you a fine … We’re going to keep giving you warnings before we ever give you a fine,” de Blasio said, adding that fines will be issued when someone ignores the instructions of enforcement agents.

The mayor also urged New Yorkers to hold each other accountable and report social distancing violations. Photos of violations can be texted to 311-692 or sent through the 311 app.

“This is not snitching, this is saving lives,” de Blasio said. “This is serious and it’s going to get harder now with the nice weather.”

Sunday is forecast to be sunny and warm, with highs in the mid-60s across the tri-state area, but de Blasio acknowledged the concern goes beyond a single day as temperatures climb into the 60s and 70s throughout the rest of April and May.

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