Those traveling for Thanksgiving face restrictions when crossing state lines, like in Pennsylvania, New York, Alaska, and Hawaii.
Eight months deep in the pandemic, coronavirus infections surge just in time for the holidays. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) insists staying home is the best way to protect travelers and their communities from the virus.
While likely fewer Americans will travel than usual this holiday season, still millions will board planes to reunite with loved ones. It's been a long year.
If you have November travel plans, be aware that individual states have different rules for entry that involve recent COVID-19 tests and quarantining. If you see your destination state on the list below, I recommend you look up the most recent travel guidance from that state.
This list doesn't represent the most comprehensive information out there—we've all learned conditions can change quickly these days.
According to a health order from November 16, Alaska visitors are required to:
- Provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test no more than 3 days prior to departure (a test can be purchased for $250 on arrival, or free for residents; children under 10 exempt from the testing requirement)
- Submit a travel declaration and self-isolation plan through the state's portal
- Social distance for 5 days on arrival (or quarantine for 14 days instead of testing)
Travelers are required to self-quarantine if arriving from a state with a higher than 10% test positivity rate, or provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test no more than 3 days prior to departure to skip quarantining.
District of Columbia
As per a November 9 health order, anyone traveling from a high-infection state must get a coronavirus test no more than 72 hours prior to traveling. Visitors from Maryland, Virginia, those traveling for funerals or family emergencies, or those spending less than 24 hours in the district are exempt.
Hawaii requires a negative COVID-19 test from an approved testing partner and a Safe Travels account before traveling to the state.
While the state doesn't have broad restrictions, Chicago does. Visitors from high-infection "red" states must quarantine for two weeks on arrival, regardless of test results. Visitors from "orange" lower-risk states can either test negative or quarantine.
Kansas has some specific directives for which visitors quarantine:
- Anyone traveling to or from North Dakota, Belgium, the Czech Republic, or Andorra recently
- Anyone who's attended an out-of-state gathering of 500 or more
- Anyone who has recently been on a cruise
The above quarantine requirements only apply if your destination is Kansas, not if you're just passing through.
Kentucky: Officials in Kentucky have issued a travel advisory with the recommendation of a 14-day self-quarantine for travelers who went to any of the states reporting a positive testing rate equal to or greater than 15%.
Recent guidance requires visitors from most states to quarantine or submit proof of a negative test from no more than 3 days prior to arrival.
Visitors must complete a travel form and either quarantine or show a negative coronavirus test from no more than 3 days prior to arrival.
New Hampshire kindly asks visitors from outside of New England to quarantine for two weeks. That quarantine may be shortened or ended after seven days if visitors get a negative test or are asymptomatic.
New Jersey doesn't require a negative test, nor is self-quarantine required—but they're pretty firm nonetheless: "The (14-day) self-quarantine is voluntary, but compliance is expected.”
Visitors are asked to quarantine for two weeks upon arrival.
Travelers who have been out of the state for longer than 24-hours must present a negative test within three days of arriving, then quarantine for three days. On the fourth day, visitors must test negative again before leaving quarantine.
Visitors with very high infection-rate states (15% positive testing rate or higher) are advised to quarantine for two weeks.
No test is required, but the state travel advisory includes a two-week self-quarantine.
Visitors from out of state must present a negative COVID-19 test taken within 3 days of arrival.
Visitors from states with positivity rates of 5% or higher must have proof of a negative COVID-19 test.
All visitors are required to quarantine for 14 days.
A travel advisory from the governor recommends a 14-day quarantine for out of state visitors.
Do any of these advisories or requirements disrupt your travel plans? What are your thoughts on these steps taken to control the spread of the coronavirus? Comment below with your thoughts!