NY ending domestic travel quarantine requirement in April

A traveler at Long Island MacArthur Airport in Ronkonkoma filled out her...

A traveler at Long Island MacArthur Airport in Ronkonkoma filled out her state-mandated health form in December. The requirement was put in place, along with specific quarantine rules applied per state, to facilitate contact tracing amid pandemic measures. Credit: Newsday/Steve Pfost

The governor announced the travel quarantine changes as the number of COVID-19 cases in New York steadily decline or stabilize, and more people get vaccinated.

International travelers will still be under the mandate.

"This is great news, but it is not an all-clear for New Yorkers to let their guard down," Cuomo said in a statement.

But New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio expressed concerns about the end of the requirement.

"I believe in local control and here’s another case where New York City was not consulted even though we’re one of the biggest cities in the world and 43% of the state’s population," de Blasio said during his daily briefing with reporters.

While it will not be mandatory for travelers from other states to quarantine, officials are still recommending it as a precaution, Cuomo said.

Regardless of quarantine status, anyone exposed to COVID-19 or returning from travel must follow certain state mandates, such as monitoring daily symptoms for 14 days and continue hand-washing and using face coverings.

The number of new positives reported today: 579 in Nassau, 565 in Suffolk, 3,548 in New York City and 6,747 statewide.

This chart shows coronavirus positivity rates on average each day over a seven-day period in New York City and across the state.

This chart shows what percentage of virus tests were positive...

This chart shows what percentage of virus tests were positive each day over a seven-day period.

Search a map of new cases and view charts showing the latest local trends in vaccinations, testing, hospitalizations, deaths and more.

$1 billion for LI governments in stimulus bill

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer celebrate...

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer celebrate after signing the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package outside the Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday. Credit: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

The $1.9 trillion stimulus and relief bill passed by House Democrats on Wednesday will channel an estimated $1 billion to Long Island county, town and municipal governments.

President Joe Biden on Thursday signed it into law on Thursday.

Hundreds of millions of dollars more will arrive in $1,400 checks to individuals and families by the end of the month, extended $300 unemployment bonuses, and aid to families with children through tax credits, child care funding and money for reopening schools.

Other funding will flow to struggling renters and homeowners, small businesses, and restaurants and live venues such as theaters and concert halls, while also funding vaccine purchases and vaccinations as well as health care providers.

Also: Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said Wednesday that county officials reversed plans to make $75 million in staffing and service cuts after the bill passed.

Will there be a summer concert season?

Ava Max performs at the Northwell Health at Jones Beach...

Ava Max performs at the Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater in Wantagh, on June 15, 2019. Credit: Bruce Gilbert

The local entertainment industry is finally beginning to show signs of life after a dormant pandemic year: Cinemas, performing arts centers, concert venues and theaters have been able to open at limited capacity.

There’s no guarantee what exactly this spring and summer's entertainment seasons will look like, but a rough outline of what's ahead is beginning to take shape.

Will there be Jones Beach concerts this summer? Which shows are scheduled, and how do bands feel about it? We’ve got answers to those questions and more in this guide to entertainment during the pandemic.

A year of Long Islanders' acts of kindness

Mary Kate Tischler, Alexis Cino, holding her dog Penny, Debbie...

Mary Kate Tischler, Alexis Cino, holding her dog Penny, Debbie Cino and Joe Cino at their Sharing Table on March 5 in Oceanside. Credit: Debbie Egan-Chin

Newsday's LI Acts of Kindness series launched on March 19, 2020, with the goal of highlighting neighbors helping neighbors at the start of a pandemic.

We wrote about a nurse donating thousands of dollars worth of equipment to treat respiratory patients; teens making masks and face shields; children sending cards to nursing home residents. One story focused on a mother and daughter creating a big, colorful message on their fence, in chalk: "Thank U Essential Workers."

Some of the good deeds we’ve written about have grown from a moment into a movement, or have evolved.

Newsday looks back — and checks in — on three of those stories.

More to know

LIRR riders and officials say three weeks is too long a wait to restore scaled-back railroad service amid the worry that prolonging crowded train conditions during a pandemic is a health risk.

Three Suffolk high school football teams in League VII are in quarantine this week and will be forced to miss their respective season openers because of recent positive tests.

President Joe Biden will use his first prime-time address since taking office to steer the nation toward hope in the "next phase" in the fight against the pandemic.

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell last week by 42,000 to 712,000, the lowest total since early November, the Labor Department said.

Small businesses and landlords are protected from eviction and foreclosure until May 1, under a new state law.

News for you

Mirabelle Tavern in Stony Brook has converted one of its...

Mirabelle Tavern in Stony Brook has converted one of its hotel rooms into The Lodge, a private dining experience. Credit: Lessing's Hospitality

LI restaurants offering secluded dining. During the pandemic, some are opting for private dining experiences to stay safe when dining out. Restaurants are carving out new indoor spaces catering to people who don't want to be in the main dining room. From eating in a basement room to having the restaurant to yourself, check our list.

Islanders fans are returning to the Coliseum. The Islanders are hosting 1,000 Northwell Health front-line workers and their families as guests at Thursday night’s game against the Devils in appreciation of their work and sacrifices. It's the first time this season fans will be allowed in the building.

The spots already open for farm fun. As the weather is getting warmer, some outdoor farm locations on Long Island are already starting to reopen. Check these five spots around Nassau and Suffolk that serve as the homes for farm animals and wildlife to enjoy.

Plus, a new stay-at-home idea: Try these six easy home upgrades you can do in an afternoon.

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Commentary

Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto/gdefilip

The second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine is magic. Within limits. Aimee Liu writes for the Los Angeles Times: The second dose was supposed to be my reunion pass. Thanks to COVID-19, I couldn't get back to Connecticut for my mother's 100th birthday at Christmastime, but once we were both fully vaccinated, I'd feel safe to fly across the country. We'd hug for the first time since 2019.

Now, I'm not so sure. I got my second dose of the Moderna vaccine early, just as alarming reports of the new California variant were emerging. Then one popped up in New York, on top of the spreader from Britain, and another from South Africa.

These strains may be resistant to the vaccine I just received. They might cause more serious illness than the original virus. Clearly, this is no time to quit wearing masks or steering clear of strangers. So is it time to travel again? What if I carried one of the new strains or picked it up en route? I could still infect my mother. Keep reading.