Which States Require Self Quarantine After Travel?

As the novel coronavirus outbreak continues in the U.S., with over 2.8 million confirmed cases reported to date, several local areas have issued quarantine mandates and travel advisories for inbound travelers to help reduce the spread of infection.

Here we take a closer look at the states directing travelers to self-quarantine when returning or visiting from states seeing a spike in new cases.

Illinois (Chicago)

From Monday, travelers to Chicago, the most populous city in the state of Illinois, coming from a selection of "states experiencing a surge in new COVID-19 cases" are required to self-quarantine for 14 days, according to an order issued by Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Allison Arwady.

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"The order applies to states that have a case rate greater than 15 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 resident population, per day, over a seven-day rolling average.

"Travelers from these states are directed to self-quarantine for a 14-day period from the time of last contact within the identified state," the Chicago city government website announced in a statement Thursday, noting violators are subject to fines of $100 to $500 per day and up to $7,000 in total.

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The list of states falling within the mandate (outlined below) will be updated every Tuesday and the order will be in effect until further notice. "There are exceptions for essential workers traveling for work purposes and for other specific circumstances," the statement noted.

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • North Carolina
  • Nevada
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah

"Cases all over the country on fire," Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Thursday.

"Record numbers of new cases and deaths from across the country and all around Chicago—that's not going to be our story," she added.

It has yet to be confirmed whether the rest of Illinois will issue a mandatory quarantine for travelers. Newsweek has contacted the office of Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker for a comment.

New York, New Jersey and Connecticut

The tri-state area of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut issued a joint advisory last month for those returning from "states that have a significant degree of community-wide spread of COVID-19," the New York State Department of Health noted.

Travelers entering the tri-state area from states that have an infection rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents or report a positive test rate of 10 percent or higher based on a seven-day rolling average are asked to self-quarantine for 14 days from the time of last contact within the applicable state.

The states for which the travel advisory applies include:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Iowa
  • Idaho
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • North Carolina
  • Nevada
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah

"This list will be updated on a regular basis as the situation develops across the country," the Connecticut state government website states.

The advisory does not apply to travelers passing through one or more of the listed states for a limited duration (such as less than 24 hours).

"Travelers from impacted states are strongly urged to carefully follow the travel advisory. It will be up to individuals to abide by the advisory," the Connecticut website adds.

"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," the New York State Department of Health said.

The New Jersey state government website also notes: "The self-quarantine is voluntary, but compliance is expected. Travelers and residents returning from impacted states typically will not need to check-in with public health officials, unless they are otherwise involved in contact tracing efforts or required to do so by their employer or any other federal, state or local law or order.

"It is expected that individuals will follow the recommendation to self-quarantine," the New Jersey website adds.

Florida

Under an executive order issued by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, all those entering the state from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut have been directed to isolate or quarantine for 14 days from the time of entry or for the duration of their stay, whichever is shorter. The order was extended on June 5, the Florida Department of Health noted.

The order does not apply to travelers involved in commercial activity and students traveling for academic work, internships, sports training and any other activity or program approved by the educational institution.

"All persons isolating or quarantining will be responsible for all costs associated with their isolation or quarantine. This includes transportation, lodging, food, medical care and any other expenses to sustain the individual during their period of isolation or quarantine," the Florida Department of Health stated.

Maine

Maine's mandate for out-of-state travelers includes producing a recent negative COVID-19 test or complying with a 14-day quarantine upon arrival in Maine. Exemption from these protocols apply when traveling from a state with a similar or better COVID-19 status than Maine.

The states that currently fall under the exemption include Connecticut, New York and New Jersey (effective from July 3) as well as New Hampshire and Vermont (effective from June 26), the Maine state government website advised.

Those who aren't residents of Maine or states exempted from quarantine will need to sign a Certificate of Compliance confirming they have received a negative COVID-19 test result, that they will quarantine in Maine for 14 days or have already completed their quarantine in Maine.

"Maine residents who visit an exempted state are not required to quarantine upon returning to Maine. However, if they visit elsewhere, the requirement that they quarantine for 14 days or get a negative test as an alternative remains in place," the state government website notes.

Airport, Arlington, Virginia, May 2020
Passengers walk through a mostly empty Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Virginia, on May 12, 2020. Getty Images

Vermont

Travelers returning to Vermont from out of the state are required to self-quarantine for 14 days. This means staying at a home for two weeks before doing any activities outside of the home, including grocery shopping or meeting with friends or family, the Vermont Department of Health noted.

"You may get tested during your quarantine period if you never had any symptoms.

"If the results are negative and you still don't have any symptoms, you can end your quarantine," the department stated.

The quarantine rule does not apply to those returning from certain areas including New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Washington, D.C., Virginia, and West Virginia.

Hawaii

Under a statewide executive order issued by Hawaii Gov. David Ige last month, "You must self-quarantine for 14 days if you arrived in Hawaii after March 26, 2020. Beginning August 1, all travelers arriving in Hawaii from out-of-state will be required to get a valid COVID-19 test within 72 hours of their trip, and to show proof of a negative test result at the airport, to avoid the 14-day quarantine," the Hawaii Tourism Authority noted in a statement Sunday.

The test, which must be an FDA (Food and Drug Administration)-approved PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test from a CLIA (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments)-certified laboratory, will need to be done before arrival at the airport, as there will be no testing provided at the airport, the authority noted.

Alaska

From June 6, travelers entering Alaska from outside the state were required to follow new travel advisories.

Those traveling from outside Alaska must complete a mandatory traveler declaration form. They must also arrive either with proof of a qualifying negative COVID-10 test, be tested on arrival in Alaska and self-quarantine until the test result is received or self-quarantine for the duration of their trip or for 14 days (whichever is shorter), the state government website noted.

While traveling within Alaska, all travelers must be tested and self-isolate if they develop any COVID-19 symptoms as well as be tested a second time seven to 14 days after arriving in Alaska, the state government website says.

Kansas

Those who have traveled to the locations below are required to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Kansas, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment noted on its website.

Those who traveled to the states below on or after June 17:

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas

Those who traveled to the states below on or after June 29:

  • Florida
  • South Carolina

Those who traveled on or after March 15:

  • Internationally
  • On a cruise ship or river cruise

The list of states was set to be updated in approximately two weeks from June 29, which was when the list was last updated, the department noted.

"These mandates do not apply to people who work in critical infrastructure sectors needed to continue operations during this pandemic, such as public health, hospitals, clinics, pharmaceutical and food supply, along with others as defined by the Department of Homeland Security," the Kansas health department stated.

The list is determined by evaluating "new cases in states over a two-week period, then [adjusted] for population size to provide a case rate per 100,000 population. This provides a number that can then be compared to the rate in Kansas. States with significantly higher rates—approximately 3x higher—are added to the list," the department confirmed.

New Mexico

From July 1, New Mexico imposed a mandatory self-quarantine for all out-of-state travelers entering New Mexico by air or vehicle. The quarantine period should last 14 days or the length of your stay in New Mexico, whichever is shorter, the New Mexico state government noted.

Face coverings are also required for all visitors as well as residents in New Mexico. Any violators of the face covering mandate may face a $100 fine, the state government warns.

Exemptions to the mask mandate apply only when individuals are drinking, eating, exercising or under medical instruction.

See the New Mexico state government website for more information on other exemptions.

Rhode Island

Travelers entering Rhode Island from one of the states listed below with a positive test rate of greater than five percent will need to either self-quarantine for 14 days while in Rhode Island or produce proof of a negative result for a test conducted within 72 hours prior to arrival.

The list of applicable states will be updated every Monday by noon, the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) confirmed.

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • North Carolina
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Puerto Rico
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Washington

Those who are tested after arriving in Rhode Island and receive a negative result can stop quarantining. However, they will still need to self-monitor for symptoms over 14 days for, wear a mask in public and follow social distancing guidelines, the RIDOH notes.

The self-quarantine and testing requirements do not apply to public health, public safety or healthcare workers and people traveling for medical treatment, among others. See the RIDOH website for more details on those exempt from the requirements.

The novel coronavirus has infected over 11.4 million people across the globe, including more than 2.8 million in the U.S. Over 534,900 people have died, while more than 6.2 have reportedly recovered from infection, as of Monday, according to the latest figures from Johns Hopkins University.

The graphic below, provided by Statista, illustrates the spread of COVID-19 in the U.S.

coronavirus U.S. states Statista
Statista

The graphic below, provided by Statista, illustrates the portion of people who wore a mask in April and May amid the ongoing pandemic.

Face masks Statista
Statista

The graphic below, provided by Statista, illustrates the seven-day rolling average of new COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and European Union.

statista, covid19, coronavirus
A graph comparing newly confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and Europe. Statista
Which States Require Self Quarantine After Travel? | News