After months of requiring a 14-day quarantine for travelers coming from an ever-shrinking and expanding list of U.S. states, New York has moved to a more uniform test-based system. Starting November 4, travelers from out of state—and returning New Yorkers who left for more than 24 hours—will need to show two separate negative COVID tests and quarantine for at least three days on arrival.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Saturday announced the new guidelines for visitors and residents alike amid the coronavirus pandemic.
There are a few exceptions: All travelers who were in a state other than neighboring New Jersey, Connecticut (both part of New York’s coronavirus “bubble”), Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts for more than 24 hours will need to receive a negative COVID-19 test result three days prior to departing that state. On arrival in New York, they must then quarantine for three days. On day 4, travelers will take another COVID-19 test and if the results are negative, they can exit quarantine.
If a test comes back positive, travelers will need to isolate per the instructions from the local health authorities that administered their second test, and contact tracing will begin both in New York and in the state they were traveling from.
All travelers will be required to fill out a traveler information form when they arrive in New York that will assist with any necessary contact tracing.
“There will be no quarantine list; there will be one rule that applies across the country. We bent the curve of this virus by following the data and the science, and we are continuing that approach with these new guidelines,” Cuomo said in a statement.
Travelers who were in another state for less than 24 hours do not need a test prior to departing that state, and do not need to quarantine on arrival in New York. They will still need to fill out the traveler information form and take a COVID test four days after arriving in New York.
Prior to these new travel guidelines, anyone coming from a state considered to be a coronavirus hot spot was required to self-quarantine for 14 days and faced fines of between $2,000 and $10,000 for violating the quarantine rules.
By the end of October, the quarantine list had grown to 40 states and several U.S territories and changed weekly. International travelers from Level 2 and 3 countries (which is everywhere except for these 31 countries and territories, as of September 28) still have to quarantine and fill out the health form on arrival in New York.