DRSI LAW

The US States Enact New Travel Entrance Restrictions

As the borders begin to reopen and the skies become congested by traveler planes globe-trotting across Green countries, the United States has decided to update its international and domestic travel directives regarding COVID-19 (aka Coronavirus). 

Although President Trump is intent in not looking to infringe on American citizens’ civil liberties by not giving Federal directives to obligate Americans to self-isolate, nor to have Federal Agents roam the streets of Los Angeles or New York City, individual States have taken it upon themselves to announce specific localised travel advisories as they see fit, in accordance with the US Federal System, whereby States have the authority to self-govern their own borders. 

As such, due to the current climate, the States of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut have jointly issued a travel advisory for anyone returning from travel to all US States that have a significant degree of community-wide spread of COVID-19.  Additionally, New York, on its own, has published a new travel advisory on its government website: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-travel-advisory

As part of the new rules, all travelers entering New York who have recently traveled within a high restricted state with either:

  • a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents over a seven-day rolling average; or
  • a testing positivity rate of higher than a 10% over a seven-day rolling average,

will be required to quarantine for a period of 14 days consistent with the Department of Health (DOH) regulations for quarantine. Data used to construct the metrics that determine the designated states from which individuals must quarantine is detailed in the tables posted publicly by all 50 states. Analysis of the metrics will be conducted weekly to determine if travelers from other states qualify.

The designated states with significant community spread will be conspicuously posted on the DOH website and will be updated weekly. Please check the site frequently as the information will change as often as daily, as rates of COVID-19 transmission increase or decrease.

The travel advisory was effective at 12:01 am on Thursday, June 25, 2020. If you have traveled from within one of the designated states with significant community spread as defined by the metrics above, you must quarantine when you enter New York for 14 days from the last travel within such designated state, provided on the date you enter into New York State that such state met the criteria for requiring such quarantine. The requirements of the travel advisory do not apply to any individual passing through designated states for a limited duration (i.e., less than 24 hours) through the course of travel.

Examples of such brief passage include but are not limited to: 

stopping at rest stops for vehicles, buses, and/or trains; or lay-overs for air travel, bus travel, or train travel.

The travel advisory requires all New Yorkers, as well as those visiting from out of state, to take personal responsibility for complying with the advisory in the best interest of public health and safety. All travelers arriving in NY from designated states must complete an online form – “The State Department of Health traveler from” and submit this online upon entering New York. As of August 6, the City and Sheriff’s Office will implement checkpoints at various points of arrival into the City to remind travelers and ensure compliance.

Face Masks- Executive orders have been enacted to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Governor Cuomo issued executive orders 202.17 and 202.18. The executive facemask orders require any individual within the state who is over two years old and able to medically tolerate a face-covering to cover their nose and mouth with a mask or cloth face-covering when in a public place or business and unable to maintain, or when not maintaining, social distance including when taking public or private transportation or riding in for-hire vehicles. 

Travel Advisory Exemptions for First Responders and Essential Workers

Exceptions to the travel advisory are permitted for essential workers and are limited based on the duration of time in designated states, as well as the intended duration of time in New York. The Commissioner of Health may additionally grant an exemption to the travel advisory based upon extraordinary circumstances, which do not warrant quarantine but may be subject to the terms and conditions applied to essential workers or terms and conditions otherwise imposed by the Commissioner in the interest of public health. 

For further information, please go to the New York State Department of Health’s Guidance: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/system/files/documents/2020/06/interimguidance_traveladvisory.pdf

© DRSI LAW  August 2020

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