New York's new pandemic travel rules take effect

New York has some of the lowest coronavirus numbers in the United States. To protect the hard-earned win, New York's new travel rules went into effect Wednesday. The list of states from which travelers are required to quarantine has ended. Instead, all travelers coming to New York have to test negative for COVID-19 before arriving and again a few days after.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said travelers from all non-neighboring states who don't want to quarantine for two weeks must test negative no more than three days before they enter New York. Then they must quarantine for three days and get retested on the fourth day. If the second test is negative, they can stop quarantining.

The contiguous states of Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey are exempt from the requirements.

Travelers who decide not to get tested will be required to quarantine for 14 days, the governor said.

The list of states on New York's mandatory quarantine list was constantly changing until recently when nearly all states started seeing significant increases in COVID-19 cases.

Cuomo acknowledged that enforcing the original travel advisory was becoming harder and harder. 

"The list started small and then the list got longer and longer and longer," he said over the weekend. "At one point it was no longer a list, it was all-inclusive. Now, you don't have a list."

Cuomo said he wanted the new policy to be in place well before the Thanksgiving holiday because a significant number of infections are from family members visiting each other.

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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.