Many New Yorkers have been concerned over a letter that states travel to New Jersey will be banned as of May 10.

The letter, printed on official-looking stationery, says that vehicles with New York license plates would not be allowed in New Jersey. It also claims that police will be stopping all pedestrians and asking them to prove residency in the state. The press release goes on to warn that those who cannot produce proper ID would be escorted back to New York State.

Department of Homeland Security

For those that haven't already figured it out for themselves, the letter is completely bogus. But that hasn't stopped many people from believing the false announcement and sharing it on social media. The confusion forced the Department of Homeland Security to issue an official warning about the bogus letter:

A false letter/press release with joint seals of federal and State agencies stating New York residents cannot enter New Jersey starting May 10 due to COVID19. There is no such order. The statement is from a nonexistent agency and signed by a fictitious person.

It's unclear if the fake press release was aimed at upsetting New Yorkers or those from New Jersey, but people from both states were outraged by the claims in the letter. In addition to the ban on visitors from New York, the document said that New Jersey parents would have to obtain special IDs for children under the age of 10.

In a time when the news is rapidly changing it's easy to fall victim to false Internet rumors. This is a great reminder to consider the source of the news you see online and take a moment to verify it before blindly sharing it with others. While it's been a challenge to keep the coronavirus from spreading, we can easily stop false news from going "viral" by taking just a moment to research these claims before reposting them.

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