NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There are new quarantine rules for travelers entering New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Saturday.
As the number of COVID cases continue to rise across the country and in the tri-state area, the governor made a decision to change the travel advisory for New York.
“There will be no quarantine list. There will be no metrics,” Cuomo said.
The new policy is not getting rid of the 14-day quarantine, but it is a test-out option for those who want to shorten their quarantine time.
FULL LIST: Tri-State Coronavirus Travel Advisory
For months, travelers coming in from hot spot states have been ordered to quarantine for 14 days, but starting Nov. 4, they will be able to take some extra steps and quarantine for just three days.
State officials say in order for someone to opt into shorter isolation, they must:
- take a COVID test 72 hours before traveling to New York and receive a negative test result
- upload those results online
- quarantine for three days
- take a second COVID-19 test on the fourth day
If the second COVID-19 test comes back negative, they no longer have to quarantine.
“If you’re coming to the State of New York, within three days of arriving… you must have tested negative and have proof of a test,” Cuomo said on a conference call. “Once you arrive… you must quarantine for three days and then can take a test on the fourth day… if the test on the fourth day says you are negative then, you’re released from quarantine.”
Anyone who is not tested must remain in quarantine for 14 days, Cuomo said.
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New Yorkers who are out of state for less than 24 hours will not need to be tested before returning. But they must test negative no more than four days after returning.
“They do not need to take a test before getting on the plane to come back to New York,” said Cuomo.
Cuomo also said the new rules will not apply to travelers from states that border New York.
To ensure compliance, the governor’s office says the health department will continue to meet those arriving from states with high infection rates at airports.
According to officials, state employees will be there to confirm test results and have travelers fill out forms with information on where they are staying so that contact tracers can follow up with them during their quarantine — something they say is already happening under the current travel policy.
Officials say travelers who refuse to fill out the form after arriving from a hot spot state could face a $2,000 fine along with a mandatory quarantine.
Divara Zhumagaliyeva wishes the new policy was currently in place. She just flew in from Florida and will have to quarantine for two weeks.
“It’s a lot, kinda, for a working person. If they have kids and they have family, 14 days is a lot,” she said.
“I definitely think that’s a good change because if they are negative, I don’t see the point of them having to quarantine for 14 days,” one traveler told CBS2’s Cory James.
“I trust the governor,” another traveler said.
Not everyone is thrilled about the new move, especially with nearly 2,050 new people in the state recently testing positive for the coronavirus.
“I think it should have stayed 14 days,” Long Island resident Kiara Jackson said. “Because there’s been no difference with the virus. People are still getting sick. It’s actually getting more.”
Cuomo says his decision was made alongside many experts who considered the holidays and the fact that New York has the third-lowest infection rate in the country.
“New Yorkers should be very proud of what they’re doing. Really proud. Third in the nation,” Cuomo said.
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