Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio have passed some of the strictest coronavirus regulations in the country.
But they’re granting exceptions to wealthy performers like Ariana Grande and Miley Cyrus, who are traveling to the city for the Video Music Awards later this week, according to the New York Post.
Average citizens have been forced to quarantine for two weeks when traveling from a state considered high-risk.
Those who violate the quarantine could be hit with a $10,000 fine and 15 days in jail.
New Yorkers are also still unable to enjoy indoor restaurant dining, and according to de Blasio, there is “no plan” as to when that restriction will be lifted.
But these restrictions do not apply to the celebrities traveling into New York City this week, because the VMAs received an exception from the state Department of Health.
The VMAs reportedly agreed to police itself with “rigorous safety protocols including testing and screening and compliance checks by a special compliance officer,” and the New York Police Department will conduct regular “compliance checks.”
But there is no quarantine mandate, despite the fact that it is one of the first major events since the city shut down in March.
“Similar to professional athletes, the VMA cast and crew are required to adhere to strict procedures which include quarantining when not working, wearing masks and appropriate social distancing, and rigorous testing during their stay. Exemptions to the travel advisory, which The Department has granted on a case by case basis, include individuals who have traveled to New York for medical procedures or funerals, as examples,” the health department said in a statement.
Meanwhile, all other travelers flying or driving into New York are forced to fill out compliance forms that ask for the traveler’s home state, their destination, the names, ages, and genders of each of their children, and contact information.
Those who refuse to fill out the form face a summons and a possible $2,000 fine.
Those forms are then sent to local health departments, where officials use them to check on compliance with the 14-day quarantine.
If travelers do not respond, contact tracers hired by the state government go to the listed address and look for them.
Health officials have not said whether the celebrities traveling to New York City will also be required to fill out compliance forms.