These U.S. states require you to quarantine or present a negative test when visiting

Planning to travel for the holidays? Be prepared to quarantine if you travel to one of these states.

Written by
Sarah Medina
Travel Editor, North America
Face masks, airport, travel
Photograph: Shutterstock

Traveling right now is a bit of a mess, and the holidays are only making it worse. And while most states are encouraging residents to stay home throughout the holiday season and the extended winter, the airports are likely to be as packed as ever. So if you're planning to head out of state any time in the near future (and want to stay as safe as possible), you might want to reference this list of states that are requiring travelers to self quarantine for 14 days or present a negative COVID-19 test when visiting.

RECOMMENDED: Can I travel in the USA? Holiday travel rules and restrictions explained. 

Here are the rules broken down by state (listed in alphabetical order). If states are not listed, there are no travel restrictions currently in place. 

Alaska: Visitors must submit a travel declaration and a self-isolation plan online before traveling then also present a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of departure, or you can be tested upon arrival for $250 and self-quarantine until the results are available. Travelers must also follow “strict social distancing” for five days after arrival. 

California: California recommends anyone coming to the state (including returning residents) self-quarantine for at least two weeks.

Colorado: There are no state-wide travel restrictions in Colorado, however, Pitkin County (which includes Aspen), requires visitors to complete a health affidavit and provide a negative test taken within 72 hours of arrival or else quarantine for 14 days. 

Connecticut: Visitors to Connecticut from states that have a positive case rate of 10 out of 100,000 people or a 10 percent or higher test positivity rate (which is most states right now) must self-quarantine for 14 days. The traveler must have spent more than 24 hours in said state for the rule to apply (so Connecticut residents who travel to a neighboring state for less than 24 hours are exempt), and in some cases proof of a negative test taken within 72 hours may replace quarantine. All visitors must complete a travel health form. 

Hawaii: Visitors may skip an otherwise mandatory quarantine period if they show proof of a negative test (performed using a nasal swab) taken within 72 hours of flight departure. 

Illinois: Illinois has no state-wide restrictions, but Chicago requires travelers from several high-risk states to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival or arrive with a negative test. 

Kansas: Travelers to Kansas should continuously check the state's quarantine guidelines, which are very (and oddly) specific and change often. 

Kentucky: Kentucky recommends a 14-day self-quarantine for those coming from a state with a positive test rate of 15 percent or higher. 

Maine: Requires travelers from everywhere except New Hampshire and Vermont to either undergo a 14-day self-quarantine or present a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours. Tests can be taken upon arriving in Maine but travelers must quarantine while awaiting results. 

Massachusetts: All travelers—except those from low-risk states like Hawaii and Maine—must complete a travel form when arriving in Maine and either show proof of a negative test taken within 72 hours or quarantine for 14 days. Failure to comply with these directives may result in a $500 fine.

Minnesota: During its four week stay-at-home order (valid through December 18) all incoming visitors and residents are asked to quarantine for 14 days upon entry (or reentry) to Minnesota.

New Hampshire: Travelers from outside of New England should self-quarantine for two weeks. Those coming from Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island are exempt. 

New Jersey: Travelers from any state outside the immediate region (New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Delaware) should self-quarantine for 14 days. 

New Mexico: Travelers to New Mexico must quarantine for 14 days or the length of their visit (whichever is shorter). Visitors from Hawaii are currently exempt.

New York: Updated guidelines allow travelers to New York to "test out" of the mandatory 14-day quarantine. Travelers from states that are contiguous with New York are exempt from the travel advisory. 

Ohio: Travelers coming from states with a positive test rate of 15 percent or higher must self-quarantine for 14 days.

Oregon: People arriving in Oregon from other states or countries, including returning Oregon residents, are encouraged to self-quarantine for 14 days. 

Pennsylvania: Arriving travelers over the age of 11 are currently required to quarantine for 14 days or provide a negative test result.

Rhode Island: Travelers coming from a state with a positive rate of higher than 5 percent can either arrive with a negative COVID-19 test from within 72 hours or quarantine for 14 days. Though the state still recommends quarantining for 14 days as opposed to relying on a negative test result.

VermontVermont has a mandatory 14-day quarantine for nonessential travel. Travelers can take a PCR test on day seven and end the quarantine early with a negative result. 

Washington: Washington recommends a 14-day self-quarantine for interstate and international travel. Tourists are discouraged from visiting.

Washington D.C.: Anybody traveling to D.C. from a state with more than 10 cases per 100,000 must get tested within 72 hours or less before arriving. If the traveler is in D.C. for more than three days, they must get tested again.

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