On Monday, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti instituted severe new measures to air and rail travel in the city only days before Thanksgiving
Starting Wednesday, all out of state and out of country passengers over the age of 16 travelling into Los Angeles International Airport, Van Nuys Airport, or Union Station will need to sign a “Traveler Form” before arriving into the city. The form, similar to the mandatory New York travel form, makes sure that passengers have read and understood the California travel advisory, in addition to potentially helping with contact tracing should cases of COVID-19 be reported. It can either be filled out online before arrival or be given in paper on arrival. If a passenger does not fill out the form, a fine of up to $500 will be issued.
“Please, let us not make this Thanksgiving the deadliest day of this pandemic,” said Mayor Garcetti on Monday during the press conference. “We often think of love as being with someone who we love. We know this year, love is not being with someone that you love. A test is not an excuse to go to somebody else’s house for Thanksgiving.
“Visitors arriving at LAX or Van Nuys will be informed of this new requirement through signs posted throughout the airports and airlines are being asked to notify their passengers. It will take less than a minute.”
The city itself also urged people to follow the instructions, saying that it will help stop the spread of COVID-19 in Los Angeles and LA County.
“To help stop the spread of COVID-19, Los Angeles is requiring all travelers entering the city from another state or country to fill out this online form, acknowledging that they have read and understood California’s travel advisory,” noted the city’s website.
“LA just hit an all-time high in reported cases Tuesday,” noted private aircraft travel advisor Pablo Nunez to the Globe. “This makes sense the restrictions LA is taking. They’re getting commercial traffic from LA, one of the nation’s busiest airports. They’re getting private aircraft from Van Nuys, the busiest private airport in the country. And they’re getting Union Station, a major passenger station and Metro commute hub.”
“New York saw a drop in cases when it instated a similar form, and LA, which has been hit hard, is trying to keep up and reduce cases. It’s like a TSA form like when you travel from oversees, but the difference is that the info will only be used to trace back cases should some cases of COVID-19 be tracked back. And, you know, it makes people aware they have to be in LA or California for the next few weeks for quarantine.”
“It’s not an assault on personal liberties or anything like that. It’s just a city doing everything it can to keep the number of new cases as low as possible on some of the busiest travel days of the year.”
The form is expected to be mandatory throughout the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, although it may be extended into the upcoming holiday season and New Year’s in the coming months.