Out-of-state travelers poured into Manhattan’s Penn Station early Thursday, breezing past city workers who did little more than offer leaflets with basic coronavirus containment tips — while Mayor Bill de Blasio vowed to “aggressively” keep tabs on potentially contaminated visitors.
Dozens of passengers exited three Eastern Seaboard trains into the Midtown transit hub to find several city workers waiting to greet them.
But the welcoming party did little more than wave fliers offering common-sense coronavirus safety pointers, including on testing, tracing and self-isolation.
“Answer the call of our Contact Tracers to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in your community,” read one tip on the leaflet, apparently aimed more at New York natives than out-of-towners.
“Safely separate to protect others and take care at a hotel or home,” read another.
But most travelers simply ignored the workers and continued on their way unimpeded.
And The Post saw no attempt by the workers to collect the states of origin or contact information for the incoming visitors, before they finally called it a day around 11:30 a.m.
The kid-gloves treatment came one day after de Blasio vowed a crackdown with checkpoints at city entrances and fines of up to $10,000 for those caught breaking New York’s two-week quarantine period.
Under state mandate, travelers from 35 high-risk infection states plus Puerto Rico must self-quarantine for two weeks upon arrival.
New York City has seen a positive test rate of under three-percent for two full months — but 20 percent of new cases in the city is from an out-of-state traveler.
Even as the new arrivals fanned out into the city unchecked, de Blasio touted the strength of the checks.
“It will be random, it will be moving, but I think it’ll get the message across,” he told reporters in a Thursday press briefing. “What we’re doing at the airports, working with the State and the Port Authority, what we’re doing at the bus station, Penn Station for travelers coming in from those states. Getting people to the point of contact, getting them to fill out those forms and then following up aggressively with them.”
The mayor’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the approach observed Thursday at Penn Station.