Travelers from California and Hawaii can now enter New York without having to quarantine
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Editor’s note: This post has been updated to reflect new information, and was first published on June 24, 2020.
Good news: Some states are officially off of New York’s naughty list.
Governor Andrew Cuomo’s weekly COVID-19 update eliminated California, Hawaii, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, Northern Mariana Islands, and Ohio from the list of U.S. territories where incoming travelers must undergo a 14-day mandatory quarantine when entering the Empire State. Neighboring New Jersey and Connecticut have similar restrictions in place.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has also set up checkpoints at tunnels and bridges leading into the city in order to enforce the quarantine regulation. Violators will be fined up to $10,000.
In June 2020, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut declared a mandatory 14-day quarantine for travelers entering from regions with heightened rates of COVID-19 cases. The CDC has since removed its recommendations for travelers to self-quarantine for 14 days after returning from travel, and instead advises travelers to follow the guidance of the states or cities they’re traveling to.
“We now have to make sure that the [COVID-19 infection] rate continues to drop,” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a June 24 Facebook live announcement alongside Governors Philip Murphy of New Jersey and Ned Lamont of Connecticut. “We also need to make sure the virus doesn’t come in on a plane.”
Related: A state-by-state guide to reopening
The travel advisory went into effect at midnight Thursday, June 25, and applies to anyone arriving from a state with a 10 percent or higher infection rate increase over a seven-day rolling average.
Puerto Rico, which has been on New York’s restricted list before, successfully dropped its infection rate below the limit and was removed in on Sept. 8, but has been re-added to the quarantine list as of Sept. 15.
As of Sept. 15, the 30 total states and territories on New York’s restricted list for mandatory quarantine include:
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Puerto Rico
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
You can use this website to check for up-to-date information.
The New York quarantine measure is designed to curb the second wave of coronavirus infections, which spiked sharply after a number of states reopened their economies. As the situation develops, more regions may be added to the quarantine list.
Cuomo stated in mid-June that New York now has “The virus under control — but Florida doesn’t, Texas doesn’t, these other states don’t. And what happens if they get on a plane and they come to JFK? So, we get the infection rate down and then because other states are high, we could have a problem.”
New York state has asked police to check drivers with out-of-state license plates, perform random checks of visitors arriving by air, and has set up a hotline for residents to report offenders. New York is imposing fines of up to $10,000.
As of Sept. 15, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has tallied more than 6.5 million cases and 194,092 U.S. deaths due to COVID-19 — an increase of more than four million cases since the quarantine was levied in late June.
“This [mandatory quarantine] is a smart thing to do,” New Jersey Governor Murphy said in late June, referencing the “hell and back” that residents of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut had experienced over the past three months due to the coronavirus pandemic. “The last thing we need to is subject our folks to another round [of infection].”
New York, New Jersey and Connecticut’s current quarantine restrictions aren’t the first to be levied upon U.S. travelers. A handful of states and cities including Hawaii and Chicago have implemented mandatory quarantines during this pandemic. Meanwhile, Americans have been banned from entering a number of reopening foreign countries including Iceland, Germany and the European Union.
In August, the State Department revoked its Level 4: Do Not Travel advisory— the highest level of risk warning. Instead, travelers are now encouraged to look at individual country ratings for travel guidance.
Featured photo by Shutterstock.
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