New York Adds New Stringent Testing & Quarantine Requirement

Over the past week, we’ve seen COVID cases exponentially increasing throughout the US. Some large metropolitan cities have already scaled back services and announced lockdown guidelines for restaurants, bars, gyms, etc. and it is has far reaching impacts.


Yesterday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the state is instituting new travel and quarantine requirements. And I think it’s worth taking a look at the “old” guidelines to understand the “new” guidelines.

In June 2020, New York introduced a mandatory 14-day quarantine for passengers that were arriving from specific states, specifically states with higher infection rates. Passengers from these state would need to quarantine, and there was no option to “test out” of it.

Obviously, the list of states continually changed as rates fluctuated, but it made traveling to New York challenging …which I presume was the goal.

Fast forward to yesterday and the “new” policy for travelers…

Going forward a 14-day quarantine will be required for anyone arriving from out of state, but there will be an option to “test out” of the quarantine.

Here are the key points:

  • The policy will begin 4 November 2020
  • The policy DOES NOT apply to passengers connecting at an airport in New York
  • The policy DOES NOT apply to essential workers
  • Travel from Connecticut, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, will not be subjected to the policy
  • However, the policy does apply whether you’re a visitor to New York, or a New Yorker returning home

If you’re returning home, but were out of state for less than 24 hours:

  • Neither a COVID-19 test (prior to your travel to New York) nor quarantine is required
  • But, a COVID-19 test must be taken 96 hours (4 days) after arrival in New York

But if you’re returning home, and were out of state for more than 24 hours:

  • A COVID-19 test is required within 72 hours (3 days) prior to your travel to New York
  • After arriving in New York, travelers must quarantine for at least 72 hours (3 days)
  • And on the fourth day of the quarantine, the traveler must get a second COVID-19 test
  • Once the second result comes back negative, the traveler can exit quarantine

Whew…that was a lot!


The state of New York has new guidelines when it comes to travel and it’s great to see there is now an option to bypass the 14-day quarantine. However, I wonder how many people are following “the rules?”

Personally, I haven’t heard of anyone being fined or arrested for breaking quarantine. Although the policy may be discouraging to travelers, is it effective?

For example, I have no direct knowledge of how stringent New York was on the “old” policy, but I tend to believe in NYC alone (population – 8 million), it could be difficult enforcing this policy and therefore there have been more than handful of violators. And that number doesn’t even include the travelers that were coming to visit. Sooo…

What do you make of New Yorks new policy? Is the new policy improving the old policy?

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