New York State has had a challenging set of rules for travel. Anyone arriving from a state with more than 10 positive cases per 100,000 residents on a rolling average basis, or greater than 10% of Covid-19 tests coming back positive has had to quarantine for 14 days on arrival. Enforcement has been spotty.
- New York State residents have been limited in where they could travel. They might even find themselves traveling to a state not on this ‘naughty list’, but the state gets added to the list while they’re gone. So quarantines become unexpectedly required.
- It’s acted largely to forbid much of the country from traveling to New York.
It’s no surprise that domestic air travel has recovered to a much greater extent in places other than New York than it has in New York.
The New York approach, though, has recently meant that travel to or from nearly the entire country would require a 14 day quarantine as cases and positivity rise – to the greatest extent in places that haven’t been as hard hit by the virus earlier in the pandemic, but across the country as well. Indeed, New York’s rule would have applied to parts of New York had it been imposed on intra-state travel.
Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced a new policy to replace the current 14 day quarantine for people arriving from states with significant community spread of Covid-19.
- Arriving passengers must test negative for Covid-19 within the 3 days prior to travel
- Then they must quarantine for 3 days on arrival
- And if they test negative on the 4th day they are released from further quarantine
Alternatively, arrivals can quarantine for 14 days. There will no longer be exceptions based on where someone is coming from, except that testing and quarantine rules do not apply to travel to and from Connecticut, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. And New Yorkers who leave the state for less than 24 hours don’t have to quarantine when they return, provided they take a test on their fourth day back and it comes back negative.
The new requirements for travel to New York are onerous. They’re far more onerous than exempting some people from quarantine entirely based on the states they were coming from. But they’re less of a burden than a 14 day requirement for almost everyone which is the direction they were headed in.
The question, though, is how quickly this regime will adapt again as Covid-19 outbreaks subside in different parts of the country. When there’s little virus activity in certain parts of the country, how long will it take for New York to allow travelers to enter from those places without a mandatory quarantine of some kind?