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HomeCoronavirusNew COVID-19 Travel Testing / Quarantine Rules for Travelers To and From New York State

New COVID-19 Travel Testing / Quarantine Rules for Travelers To and From New York State


Update on November 1, 2020:

Governor Cuomo today clarified that the new testing/quarantine rules do not apply to ALL Contiguous states. As mentioned below, there was confusion as to whether the rules would be inapplicable to Vermont and Massachusetts. Since yesterday’s press conference, numerous news outlets had also referenced the lack of clarity.

Original Post:

The Governor of New York today released the following press release concerning travel into and out of New York State. When speaking of “contiguous states”, the Governor has repeatedly spoken of New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut. Yet, Vermont and Massachusetts also border New York State. Thus, one is left to presume he meant to include those states as well.

Below the following video and transcript is the actual press release issued forth from the Governor’s Office.


Travel has become an issue. The rest of the states, by definition if you’re the third lowest, it means if anyone comes in from any state, they pose a threat. As New York has been doing better than most states, we’ve been dealing with this for a while. We came up with a state quarantine policy. Probably the first time the State has done that in history. There’s no such thing really as a state quarantine policy, but a state quarantine policy. We had a list and we started to add states to the list when they hit certain metrics. The list started small and then the list got longer and longer and longer and longer.

At one point, it was no longer a list, it was almost all inclusive. So now you don’t have a list because it’s all inclusive. Just to torture the analogy, let’s say I had a list of reporters who I didn’t like to deal with so then I had one reporter, then I had 2 reporters on a list, then I had 3 reporters on a list. It got to a point where I had every reporter on the list. It’s no longer a list, now it becomes I don’t want to deal with any member of the press. You have to come up with a new plan. We have to come up with a new policy for quarantine and I said last week that we were working with global health experts on a new policy.

We’re going to a new plan given the changing facts, we’re coming up with a new program. And all the experts suggest we shift to a testing policy. And that’s what we’re going to do, and this is how it will work. There will be no quarantine list, there will be no metrics. There will be one rule that applies across the country.

And the rule is this: If you are coming to the State of New York, within three days of arriving in New York, you must have tested negative and have proof of test within three days upon your arrival in New York that says you’re negative. Once you arrive in New York, you must quarantine for three days and then can take a test on the fourth day and if the test on the fourth day says you are negative, then God bless, you’re released from quarantine. If the test says you’re positive, then you remain in quarantine. If you choose not to get tested, then you remain in quarantine for the 14-day period. But I don’t know why anybody would do that. So the mandatory quarantine is actually three days upon arrival, you can take a test on the fourth day, test says you’re negative, that’s that. So, you will have had a test within three days of arrival that said you’re negative; a test four days after arrival that says you’re negative. Four days plus three days is 7 days and that’s basically by all probability the incubation period and that’s the policy. It applies to every state except the contiguous states for the regions we’ve discussed. The caveat is this: New Yorkers who travel outside of New York for less than 24 hours must take a test within 4 days of their arrival. If the test says they’re positive, then we go into contact tracing mode, et cetera, quarantine. But they must take a test within four days upon arrival. They do not need to take a test before getting on the plane to come back to New York. That’s the policy, and the list and the metrics are no longer applicable.


Press Release:

Travelers Must Get Tested Within Three Days Prior to Landing in New York, Quarantine for at Least Three Days Upon Arrival, and Get a Test on Day Four of Arrival

If Travelers Receive a Negative Test On Day Four of Quarantine They May Exit Quarantine When They Receive Negative Result

States that are Contiguous with New York Continue to Be Exempted from Quarantine Protocol — Essential Workers Also Continue to be Exempted

Travelers Who Were Only Out of State for Less Than 24 Hours Do Not Need to Quarantine but Must Get a Test on Day Four of Arrival Back in NY

All Travelers Covered by The Advisory Must Continue to Fill Out Traveler Health Form Upon Arrival Into New York State

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced new guidelines allowing out-of-state travelers to New York to “test out” of the mandatory 14-day quarantine. Travelers from states that are contiguous with New York will continue to be exempt from the travel advisory; however, covered travelers must continue to fill out the Traveler Health Form. Essential workers will continue to be exempt as well. The new protocol is effective Wednesday, November 4.

“The ship of State is sailing well: New York is the third lowest positivity rate in the nation and New Yorkers should be very proud of what they’re doing. However, travel has become an issue – the rest of the states pose a threat. We’re going to a new plan given the changing facts, and the experts suggest we shift to a testing policy,” Governor Cuomo said. “So 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.”

For any traveler to New York State from out of state, exempting the contiguous states, the new guidelines for travelers to test-out of the mandatory 14-day quarantine are below:

For travelers who were in another state for more than 24 hours:

  • Travelers must obtain a test within three days of departure from that state.
  • The traveler must, upon arrival in New York, quarantine for three days.
  • On day 4 of their quarantine, the traveler must obtain seek another COVID test. If both tests come back negative, the traveler may exit quarantine early upon receipt of the second negative diagnostic test.

For travelers who were in another state for less than 24 hours:

  • The traveler does not need a test prior to their departure from the other state, and does not need to quarantine upon arrival in New York State.
  • However, the traveler must fill out the traveler information form upon entry into New York State, and take a COVID diagnostic test 4 days after their arrival in New York.

Local health departments will validate tests, if necessary, and if a test comes back positive, will issue isolation orders and initiate contact tracing. The local health department must make contact with the state the traveler came from, to ensure contact tracing proceeds there as well. All travelers must continue to fill out the traveler information form upon arrival into New York State to contribute to New York State’s robust contact tracing program.

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