Here’s what you need to know about quarantining for the holidays in NYC

Governor Cuomo has revised New York’s quarantine requirements.

Collier Sutter
Written by
Collier Sutter
NYC skyline

As the holiday season is upon us, some folks are preparing to travel, even with Governor Cuomo advising people to stay home entirely this year. But if you are packing your bags anyway, here is everything you need to know about how and what quarantining means this time around when entering New York.

What are the current quarantine rules in New York for travelers as of December 2020?

If you're coming into New York from a state that has significant community spread (or any CDC Level 2 or Level 3 Health Notice country) you must quarantine for 14 days. 

Are there any states exempt?

Yes, the quarantine guidance does not apply to travelers from border states: Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont.

Can you "test out" of the 14 day quarantine?

Yes, you can potentially test out early. Ahead of the holidays, Gov. Cuomo revised New York’s quarantine rules, giving travelers an option to test out of the two-week quarantine period, by showing two negative tests. First you must obtain a COVID test within three days of your arrival to New York. Once in New York, travelers must quarantine for three days. On your day four of quarantine, you can get another COVID test.

If both tests comes back negative, the traveler is allowed to stop quarantining early with proof receipt of their second negative diagnostic test.

What are travelers forms? What if I don’t fill them out?

To help ensure travelers are following the state's travel restrictions, a State Department of Health traveler form is currently given out to passengers by airlines prior to, and upon boarding flights to New York. You must complete the form upon entering New York. Those who leave the airport without completing the form “will be subject to a $10,000 fine and may be brought to a hearing and ordered to complete mandatory quarantine”.

Will officials call your home to see if you’re quarantining?

Yes, after filling out a travelers form where you must provide contact information, officials have been checking in on travelers through calls and text messages—and if they can’t get through to you on the phone, teams may even come knocking on your door.

What are penalties for not following quarantine requirements?

Technically, anyone who violates a quarantine order may be subject to a civil penalty of up to $10,000 or imprisonment up to 15 days (per PHL 229).

What if I’m out-of-state for less than 24 hours?

Heading back to New York after less than a day? These travelers do not need a test prior to arriving into New York, and do not need to quarantine upon arrival in New York, states the New York COVID-19 Travel Advisory guidelines. But, you must fill out traveler forms upon entry into New York State, and take a COVID diagnostic test four days after you arrival back into New York.

Are quarantine rules different if I’m driving into New York instead of flying?

Nope. New York is still implementing quarantine checkpoints at “key entry points” along main bridges and tunnels to the city to randomly screen travelers coming in. New York State also writes on their website that out of state travelers coming to New York (from non- by other means of transport than flying, including cars and trains, must fill out the travelers form online. 

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