The Strictest States
As lockdowns lift and travel gradually resumes, many Americans are eyeing a domestic getaway to close out summer. However, some states have imposed harsh restrictions on travel in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. In some cases, visitors will require a negative COVID-19 test result taken within a few days of travel to gain freedom of movement in their destination. Here are some of the states with the most strident travel restrictions in place this August.
All visitors to Alaska need to complete a traveler declaration form and, beginning August 11, must arrive with a negative COVID-19 PCR (nasal swab) test taken within 72 hours prior to departure or risk being placed in quarantine at their own expense.
Anyone traveling to Connecticut from a state with a daily positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents or a state with a 10 percent or higher positivity rate over a seven-day rolling average are required to self-quarantine for at least 14 days. As of August 4, more than 30 states and Puerto Rico meet the aforementioned criteria.
Hawaii is on track to allow out-of-state visitors to bypass a mandatory 14-day quarantine order if they have proof of a negative COVID-19 test result beginning September 1 but a spike in cases has prompted a warning from Gov. David Ige that the pre-travel testing program could potentially be further delayed into the fall.
If traveling to Maine this summer, you’ll need to show proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken no more than 72 hours prior to arrival in order to forgo the state’s mandatory 14-day quarantine. Some nearby states such as New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, New Jersey and New York are exempt, however.
Unless visiting from a low-risk state such as Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island or Vermont, travelers arriving in Massachusetts need to complete the state’s travel form and quarantine for 14 days if they aren’t able to produce a negative COVID-19 test result that’s been administered within 72-hours prior to arrival.
Visitors to New Jersey from states with a significant spread of COVID-19 are advised to quarantine for 14 days upon their arrival. There are currently 35 states and U.S. jurisdictions that meet the criteria—a positive COVID-19 test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents or a 10 percent or higher positivity rate over a seven-day rolling average—with Delaware and Washington, D.C. recently being removed from the list.
New Mexico is requiring all out-of-state travelers to self-quarantine for 14 days or for the length of their stay in the state, whichever is shorter. Some people are exempt from the order, however, including airline employees traveling for work; emergency first responders; health care workers and military personnel, among others.
New York joined New Jersey and Connecticut in issuing a travel advisory for those visitors arriving from states with a significant degree of community-wide spread of COVID-19, requiring them to quarantine for at least 14 days. The list includes at least 34 states and Puerto Rico as of August 4. Air travelers from designated states must also complete a traveler health form upon arrival at New York’s airports.
Out-of-state visitors traveling to Rhode Island from a state with a COVID-19 positivity rate of higher than 5 percent must quarantine for 14 days and self-monitor for symptoms. Otherwise, they can provide proof of a negative coronavirus test taken within 72 hours prior to arrival.
Vermont’s COVID-19 travel restrictions are quite complicated compared to some other states as visitors traveling from certain counties with low rates of active cases do not need to self-quarantine for 14 days. Any county with less than 400 active cases of COVID-19 per one million residents is eligible for quarantine-free leisure travel to Vermont.
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