The police have been instructed to close parks and playgrounds and dismantle basketball hoops and soccer goals if they find that they are frequently in use by too many people.
Subway riders are being asked to resist crowding into cars, and instead wait for a less packed train. The mayor is encouraging them to call 311 if they see crowded cars.
“They’re going to give people every chance to listen. And if anyone doesn’t listen, then they deserve a fine at this point. And I don’t want to fine people when so many folks are going through economic distress, but if they haven’t gotten the message by now and they don’t get the message when an enforcement officer’s staring them in the face saying ‘I don’t want to fine you, but if you don’t change what you’re doing I’m going to have to’ well, you know, that person then deserves the fine,” Mr de Balsio said.
One man has already been arrested for breaking social distancing rules. Vasil Pando, who was drinking and gambling inside a club that appeared to be closed from the outside, was arrested after neighbours complained that people inside were gambling and drinking.
New York City has been especially hard hit by the virus, with 32,308 confirmed cases in the city on Sunday and 678 deaths.
To accommodate the explosion of coronavirus cases in the city, Mount Sinai Hospital and a relief organisation, Samaritan’s Purse, have erected field hospitals in tents in Central Park to house patients who can’t find space in hospitals throughout the city.
Politico reported that in addition to the fines, the city will also add additional ambulances, tours and EMS crews and that the Staten Island ferry will only run a single boat an hour, beginning at midnight.