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Quarantines or not, Americans descend on summer vacation spots

first_imgIn the New Mexico mountain resort of Red River, tourists from Texas stroll along Main Street, most disregarding Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s orders they quarantine and wear masks.It’s the same in other New Mexican tourist towns such as Taos and Santa Fe, except nearly all their visitors wear face coverings – surrounded by signs warning of fines if they don’t.Like governors in at least 15 states, Lujan Grisham has ordered out-of-state tourists to self-isolate, citing data that about one in 10 of New Mexico’s spiking COVID-19 cases comes from visitors. ‘Taking away our liberty’New Mexico published newspaper ads in neighboring Arizona and Texas, states respectively reporting 27% and 18% positive coronavirus test rates, urging their residents not to visit. Health experts consider a 5% rate to be worrisome.But tourists keep coming.”I think it’s bullshit. They’re saying the masks should work, so why should you be quarantined?” said Chris Fry, 59, a feed company manager from Dimmitt, Texas, staying in his cabin near Red River and stopping in town for ice before going fishing.A 45-minute drive south in Taos plaza, Louisiana tourist Christy Brasiel was frustrated the historic Native American Pueblo was closed to visitors and compared Lujan Grisham’s rules to “communism or socialism.””They’re taking away our liberty,” said Brasiel, 49, staying in an Airbnb rental to avoid her voluntary quarantine order enforced by local hotels that turn away out-of-state visitors.As in cities across New Mexico, police in Red River have yet to issue citations for non-compliance to COVID-19 rules, said Mayor Linda Calhoun, a Republican, adding that she is encouraging businesses to require masks.”We live off of tourists, that’s all we have, so it’s very difficult for us to enforce the order,” Calhoun said of the quarantine rule in her town nicknamed “Little Texas” for the number of visitors from that state.Many locals in Taos County, where COVID-19 cases have doubled in the last month, are dismayed by the rule breaking.”It doesn’t make any sense to be so selfish,” said lawyer Maureen Moore, 67.”We don’t want you here”Only three weeks ago, as outbreaks raged across the US Sunbelt, New Mexico reported stable or declining daily cases.A poor state with limited hospital capacity, New Mexico used early, tough restrictions to curb the pandemic.But with its positive test rate rising above 4%, Lujan Grisham has scolded New Mexicans for letting down their guard since she eased restrictions on June 1, and on Monday reclosed indoor restaurant dining.On a shortlist as a running mate to presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, Lujan Grisham has also rounded on tourism, the state’s second-largest industry.”We don’t want you here now,” she told potential visitors in a July 9 press briefing, taking special aim at Texans. “I want you to stay in Texas.”Lujan Grisham said New Mexico State Police would “aggressively” enforce her quarantine and mask orders. The force has handed out 13 verbal warnings for mask violations but none for quarantine non-compliance, a spokeswoman said on Monday.The rules are piling pandemic pain on businesses in the state. Standing outside his Red River supermarket, business owner Ted Calhoun said Lujan Grisham had gone too far. “Ordering visitors to do a 14-day quarantine is killing the tourist industry of New Mexico,” said Calhoun, the mayor’s husband.Topics : Enforcing the orders is proving difficult, given the lack of a national plan, police reluctance to take on the massive task, and Americans’ penchant for driving hundreds or thousands of miles to vacation, even in a pandemic.A US road trip this summer means navigating through a patchwork of quarantine regulations across various states, most of them voluntary.New York, New Jersey and Connecticut require travelers from 19 states with high COVID-19 infection rates to self-quarantine for two weeks upon arrival. New York imposes fines. Hard-hit Florida requires travelers from those three states to self-isolate for 14 days whether arriving by plane or car, or face a $500 fine.Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Vermont all have varying self-isolation rules.last_img read more

Home break-in warning issued for the coming holiday season

first_imgNatasha Morgan, home security expert and founder of My Home Watch. Picture: Supplied.HOME burglaries are unsettling at any time, but with the holiday season approaching, experts are warning of potential for a sharp rise in such crimes.According to home security expert Natasha Morgan, founder of My Home Watch, the lead-up to the holiday season was a busy time for most households — with all those holidays, celebrations and parties meaning homes could be susceptible to break-ins. AFFORDABLE: Lucky buyer scores bargain buy in high demand middle ring RENOVATOR: 117-year-old fixer-upper sold for $1m below median price Summer is expected to bring on more gatherings outside of the home.She has a six-point checklist for homeowners to consider before they leave their homes unattended. Maintain your gardens and lawn A sure sign that noone’s home is a poorly maintained yard, she said. “Arrange to have a property specialist take care of your garden needs and let your lawn mowing man or gardener into your yard.” But she warned that the least number of people with access to your property and keys the better. Tighten your security Your locks, deadlocks, screens, security doors and shutters are not just for show — use them, she said. “Police see so many people thinking if their garage door is locked they don’t need to deadlock the door leading into their home or windows and screens left opened and unlocked.” A good way to check security was to get a local locksmith in to advise where improvements could be made.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus1 day agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market1 day ago Co-ordinate with a property specialist over who will have access to your property while you’re away. Consider installing security cameras Smart devices are significantly cheaper these days, ”from door bells with cameras inside of them to wire-free smart home security systems that are set up in ten minutes and you self-monitor through your mobile phones”. She said putting security cameras in and around a home should be a high priority. Make the changes She said make changes to your home if you have been broken into before. “Thieves looked for no cars in the driveway, no lights on in the evening, no response to a knock on the door, rubbish bins left out, piled up mail in the mailbox or similar indications that no one was at home.” FOLLOW SOPHIE FOSTER on Twitter or Facebook FREE: Get The Courier-Mail ’s real estate news direct to your inboxcenter_img Police say locks are only good if you actually use. Let there be light Timer lighting or motion-activated lighting help make a house look lived-in. “A well-lit house is far less attractive to a criminal than a dark, empty-looking house.” Don’t tell every man and their dog you’re leaving Before spreading the word about your holiday, “stop, slow down and really think about what kind of repercussions it could have to the security of your home”. Co-ordinate with a property specialist over who will be required to have access to your home.last_img read more