Governors in the northeast, once considered the US epicenter of the coronavirus, are tightening restrictions in their states for travelers from areas of the country now seeing upward trends in positive coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.
Ahead of the July Fourth weekend, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut on Tuesday expanded travel advisories requiring people arriving from eight additional southern and midwestern states to quarantine for 14 days.
As of Tuesday, the Democratic governors from the tri-state area are requiring self-quarantine for travelers from: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nevada, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Utah. The requirement was first announced for eight states last week.
The travel advisory applies to anyone coming from a state with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents over a 7-day rolling average or a state with a 10% or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average. There are exemptions for essential workers.
There are more than 2.6 million reported cases of coronavirus nationwide, according to Johns Hopkins University, and new cases in at least 36 states are trending upward compared to the previous week.
“As an increasing number of states around the country fight significant community spread, New York is taking action to maintain the precarious safety of its phased, data-driven reopening,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement Tuesday.
“We’ve set metrics for community spread just as we’ve set metrics for everything the state does to fight COVID-19, and eight more states have reached the level of spread required to qualify for New York’s travel advisory, meaning we will now require individuals traveling to New York from those states to quarantine for 14 days.”
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker also announced Tuesday that beginning on Wednesday, travelers arriving to the state — including residents of the state returning home — will also be required to self-quarantine for 14 days.
Essential workers and travelers from the tri-state area and the northeast states of Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont are exempt.
“As we’ve all seen, several other states are seeing sharp increases in new cases and hospitalizations, which is a very real reminder to all of us about just how contagious this virus can be,” Baker, a Republican, said in a news conference.
“Massachusetts is reopening but we want to make sure that our out-of-state visitors are also taking appropriate precautions.”
Baker said that his decision to lift the quarantine for travelers from those northeast states are because they’ve shown low positive test rates cases in the past weeks.