On Wednesday, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut announced that California would be again listed on the Tri-State Travel Advisory, a measure requiring all travelers to quarantine themselves for two weeks when traveling between the two places to halt the spread of COVID-19.
California had previously been on the list for much of the year until mid-September, when it was removed after the state had reduced the number of COVID-19 cases from within the state, as well as reducing their positive test rate percentage.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, and Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont released a joint statement on Wednesday, noting their reasons for including California on the travel advisory again.
“Our states have worked together successfully in combating this pandemic since the beginning and we’ll continue to do so,” said the Governors in the statement. “The travel advisory was designed to keep our respective states safe, with the understanding that we are a connected region, dependent on each other when it comes to commerce, education, and health care. We’re urging all of our residents to avoid unnecessary or non-essential travel between states at this time, but will not subject residents of our states to a quarantine if coming from a neighboring state. New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut have among the lowest infection rates in the country because we have based our approaches to controlling the spread on science and data, and we will continue to do so.”
Governor Cuomo also expanded on the decision in a separate statement.
“We know COVID is spreading at increased rates in other states and New York State is not in a hermetically sealed bubble,” said Cuomo. “The numbers are a reminder that COVID is still here and continues to spread in communities across the state, particularly when people choose not to follow the safety protocols in place to control the virus. Now, 45 states and territories meet the requirements for our travel advisory. We cannot let our guard down and risk going backwards in New York.”
Quarantine guidelines for California travelers to NY, NJ, CT
The tri-state quarantine applies to people in 41 states traveling into either New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut from states that have had at least 10 out of 1000,000 residents test positive on average over 7 days, or a similar 10% positivity rate over the same amount of time.
All travelers going into the state must fill out a form giving where they are coming from and where they are going to assist with contact tracing measures should they be needed. On planes, forms will be given out before landing. Should the forms not be given by travelers and leave the airport, they will be given a $2,000 fine and be brought to a hearing to complete the mandatory quarantine.
Quarantine rules apply to any method of travel into the three states, with officials noting that while it is voluntary, it is expected of all people coming into the state.
Travelers coming into the area for businesses and those who are on a lay over at an area airport are exempt from any quarantine protocol.
“It’s like a less complicated TSA form,” explained pilot Perry Reeves, who has flown from California to New York over a dozen times since August while on assignments. “Those three states are making a much bigger deal about this than they should. The form isn’t complicated, and people are tending to quarantine out of habit now anyway. They’re just worried because they don’t want to return to where they were in the spring with that really bad break out, with hospital systems being overwhelmed. Every airport official I’ve talked to has said the same thing.”
“Except when I flew out to Buffalo and asked some officials there. They couldn’t give a damn what happens in New York City.”
California now rejoins 40 other states on the quarantine list for the NY-NJ-CT tri-state area. While some states, like Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts, have worse COVID-19 positivity rates than California, they have not yet been added to the quarantine list.