If you want to avoid a mandatory two-week quarantine, you must provide a negative Covid test taken within three days before arrival, and another negative test within four days after arriving.
The updated travel quarantine policy replaces the previous list of states subject to quarantine, which depended on their rates of infection.
Since those rates kept changing, the list kept changing, based on the infection rates of individual states, and it was just too complicated to administer.
This current rule has been in effect since early November 2020 and applies to passengers arriving at the three main airports serving NYC – JFK and LaGuardia in Queens and Newark, New Jersey – and also to those arriving by train, bus or car.
There are exemptiions.
But, the updated quarantine rule does not apply to travelers between New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania.
Many residents cross state lines to commute to work or go shopping or to their weekend homes. And interstate trucking is vital to keep goods moving from farms and factories to NYC.
Also, there are just too many highways, parkways and roads linking the four states for quarantine monitoring to be practical.
The new rule, announced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, became effective Nov. 4th. Hopefully it will have a positive effect on holiday visitors to NYC and help keep New York’s infection rate among the lowest in the nation, ranking third in the nation, behind Maine and Vermont, he told the news conference.
Previously, New York had applied the 14-day quarantine requirement to any traveler arriving from states which had at least 10 average daily new cases per 100,000 residents, or at least 10% of COVID-19 tests returned positive, over the prior week.
Click here for the official NYState announcement, including links to translations:
- Quarantine policy changes in Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Haitian-Creole, Bengali, Korean
The seven-day policy comes as Coronavirus cases surge across the country, which has left no state untouched, including NYC, which was the epicenter of the Covid-19 crisis this past spring.
Click here for the NYState Covid-19 tracker, by county. including the five counties of New York City – New York (Manhattan), Kings (Brooklyn), Queens, Bronx and Richmond (Staten Island).
New York State is not alone in requiring a negative Coronavirus test to visit without quarantine.
A similar policy goes into effect in December in Pitkin County, Colorado, home of the Aspen/Snowmass/Aspen Highlands ski resort complex.
- Negative test within three days of arrival.
- Another test four days after arrival.
- New Yorkers returning from less than 24 hours outside the state do not need to take a test before coming back, but must still take a test after re-entering.
- Everyone else, in the general categorization, must take a test within three days of traveling to New York via any transit means, air, car or bus.
Mayor de Blasio continues to urge people to avoid holiday travel unless absolutely necessary. He has also called for a national testing mandate for air travel, both domestic and international. In the meantime, Cuomo’s new policy will have to do.
States with different quarantine policies
While New York State has moved to the two-test seven-day policy, other states have not. So if you are traveling out of New York, you have to abide by their policies.
These 43 states and territories have restricted travel policies:
- Alaska, Arizona, Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wyoming and Wisconsin.
Again – Here’s the new NY quarantine policy
Visiting from a non-contiguous state:
Anybody visiting New York City or New York State, or if you are a New York State resident left New York for more than 24 hours and want to return, you must first take a COVID test that proves you are negative within three days prior to your arrival.
Arriving in New York:
When a visitor or resident returns to the state, even after a negative test before arrival, you must quarantine for three days. Then, on the fourth day, you need to take another COVID test. If it’s negative, you can be released from quarantine. If you get a positive result, you have to fulfill a 14-day quarantine.
Other than a recorded phone call from the Sheriff’s office, you are unlikely to be tracked by authorities, so this is pretty much the honor system.