The CDC no longer recommends 14-day self quarantine for travelers

Aug 24, 2020

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has removed its recommendations for travelers to complete a self-imposed 14-day quarantine period after traveling out of state or the country, according to USA Today.

While it no longer recommends that every traveler isolates for two weeks after returning from a trip, it advises following the local recommendations of your state or city upon return. Several states — most famously New York — still require a period of quarantine after returning from a majority of U.S. states.

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The CDC still points out that you may become exposed to COVID-19 during your travels and that if you were indeed exposed at any point, there is a chance you could spread the disease to those in your family, your friends and the community at large. 

While the previous CDC recommendations were just that — recommended protocols for anyone choosing to travel — the states that have put travel restrictions in place for residents have set up more systems for monitoring and enforcing the mandatory quarantines.

New York City, for example, has set up health checkpoints at major points of entry to the city and more recently has begun requiring anyone who is staying at a hotel or vacation rental property to fill out a health declaration form. It solicits contact information so that the city can more effectively stay in touch with a given person for contact tracing and quarantine enforcement.

And, those who violate these requirements are subject to whatever penalties a given locality has decided to impose — in the case of New York City, you could be charged with a Class-B misdemeanor or face fines.

Since several states have taken matters into their own hands concerning travel restrictions and their enforcement, not much has changed for travelers with the changing of the CDC’s recommendations for travel. Before you decide to travel anywhere, be sure that you’re aware of the risks of doing so, and do your research on the destination to which you’re traveling so that there are no surprises about restrictions on that destination, whether you’re traveling to or returning from it.

Featured photo by Pakorn Polachai/EyeEm/Getty Images.

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