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16 States Are Now on the NY, NJ, CT Travel Quarantine List

By Laura Dannen Redman and Natalie Beauregard

Jul 1, 2020

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That trip to Lake George in New York’s Adirondacks may have to wait.

Photo by PhilipR/Shutterstock

That trip to Lake George in New York’s Adirondacks may have to wait.

As the tri-state area comes out of lockdown, it’s wary of becoming a COVID-19 hot spot once again. Here’s what to know if you plan to visit.

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The threat of COVID-19 in New York City is still very real—and emotions raw. You’ll see locals outside, be it in playgrounds or nursing a cold beer on the sidewalk, and they have masks and Clorox wipes at the ready. Ask anyone from the city and they’ll rattle off names of people they know who’ve been sick with coronavirus; they themselves might have had it. Which is why the former COVID-19 epicenter of the world, and by extension, the state of New York, neighboring New Jersey, and Connecticut, are cautiously reopening in lockstep together with restrictions in place. Here’s what you need to know about July travel.

Want to visit New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut? Check if your home state is on the quarantine list first

If you’re coming from a current viral hot spot within the U.S., you’ll be asked to self-quarantine for 14 days and possibly face fines ($2,000–$10,000 in New York) and mandatory quarantine if you break isolation. “The quarantine will apply to any state where 10 of every 100,000 people test positive on a rolling seven-day basis, or where the positivity rate in the total population is 10 percent, also on a seven-day rolling basis,” the governors of the three states said in a press release.

As of June 30, travelers to New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut from 16 states are required to self-quarantine:

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • Nevada
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah

The list has doubled since it was first announced last week and will be updated “regularly” (NJ governor’s word) or weekly, per CT. You can find the latest list on the COVID-19 sites for New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut

How will the states enforce these travel restrictions? 

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Well . . . “This is an advisory,” each state clarifies. “It will be up to individuals to abide by the advisory. . . . [It] also applies to residents who are returning from a visit to the impacted states,” according to the Connecticut state travel advisory.

“The tri-state measure will focus on personal responsibility using uniform parameters and messaging on highways, airports, websites, and social media across the three states,” the governors said. Hotels will be asked to communicate the 14-day quarantine to guests who have traveled from one of the restricted states.

NJ Governor Phil Murphy said his state wouldn’t set up checkpoints along the state’s borders “but that the Department of Health would pursue cases of noncompliance if it became aware of them,” according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. Same holds for New York—you won’t be stopped at state borders—but you’ll be asked to quarantine once you arrive. 

New York is also treating this as an “if you see something, say something” situation: “To file a report of an individual failing to adhere to the quarantine pursuant to the travel advisory, please call 1-833-789-0470 or visit this website.”

What if I just drove or flew through one of the restricted states—do I still need to quarantine?

The travel advisory doesn’t apply to people passing through restricted states for a limited duration (less than 24 hours). If you’re stopping at a rest stop in a car, bus, or train, or you have a layover at an airport, you don’t need to self-quarantine, per New York State. 

What phase of reopening are New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut in? 

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As of June 29, New York City is in phase two of reopening; the Capital, Mid-Hudson, and Long Island regions are in phase three; and the state’s six other regions, including the Finger Lakes, are in phase four. In phase two, most businesses are allowed to reopen, though restaurants can only offer outdoor dining. Phase three allows for restaurants to reopen for indoor dining at 50 percent capacity, while phase four means low-risk outdoor and indoor arts and entertainment can resume. Hotels across the state can operate with restrictions, though many in New York City have yet to reopen. Residents and travelers alike are required to wear a mask and maintain a six-foot distance in public.

New Jersey is currently in phase two of reopening, meaning moderate-risk activities can resume. Right now, swimming pools, non-essential retail stores, and indoor portions of shopping malls are open; outdoor dining and gatherings of 250 people are also allowed. Casinos, amusement parks, and museums will reopen on July 2, but movie theaters and arcades will remain closed. Hotels are open with restrictions.

Connecticut is in phase 2 of reopening, with phase 3 expected to begin in mid-July. Hotels, amusement parks, museums, and indoor recreation businesses like movie theaters are currently opening; restaurants are operating at 50 percent capacity indoors and 100 percent outdoors.  

For all states, it’s worth checking the latest COVID-19 information on their sites before booking anything.

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