ALBANY (TNS) — If you’re traveling outside of New York for the holidays, or have friends and family coming here from another state, make sure you know the coronavirus restrictions in place.
As cases rise here and around the nation, New York recently updated its travel advisory guidance allowing non-essential visitors to the Empire State to “test out” of the otherwise mandatory 14-day quarantine by presenting a negative COVID-19 test — but even that option comes with a caveat.
Whether you are a resident of the state or simply coming to visit, these quarantine measures apply to you when entering New York:
• Coming from Pennsylvania, New Jersey or Connecticut? You do not have to quarantine or submit a negative COVID-19 test.
• Are you an essential worker coming to New York from out of state? Same deal — you do not need to quarantine or provide test results.
• Are you coming to New York from any noncontiguous state, U.S. territory or from a country categorized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a level 2 or level 3 nation? You must quarantine for 14 days as a precaution or present a negative COVID-19 test upon entry. Should you choose to present a negative diagnostic test upon entry, you must still quarantine the first three days and then take a follow-up test. If the second test is negative, you no longer need to quarantine.
• If you travel to a noncontiguous state for less than 24 hours, you do not need to quarantine, but New York still expects travelers to fill out a traveler form upon entry and take a diagnostic test four days after arrival. State residents are also expected to fill out the traveler form if out of state for less than 24 hours. Those arriving in the state who leave a New York airport without filling out the form could face a $10,000 fine and could be brought to a hearing and ordered to quarantine. Those traveling by other means, including trains and cars, also must fill out the form.
The travel advisory changes were announced a week ago by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo as New York prepares to see more travel around the Thanksgiving holiday. The tweaks are coupled with plans to increase enforcement at airports across the state, which will include state health officials and the National Guard.
As of Nov. 2, New York had collected more than 1.3 million traveler forms in-person and online from all modes of transportation, Cuomo senior advisor Rich Azzopardi said.
Transportation officials also provided guidance for travelers ahead of the holidays, including for those traveling by plane or train.
Amtrak urged travelers to book early, as trains will have a limited capacity to observe social distancing. Amtrak as well as the Transportation Security Administration also are requiring travelers wear face masks and social distance where possible. Air travelers will be asked to remove masks briefly to verify identity.
Those traveling on Amtrak trains must keep face masks on unless eating or drinking while stationary and maintaining social distance. Travelers with a private room can remove face masks once seated and behind a closed door.