NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New Yorkers traveling domestically are no longer required to quarantine.

However, it’s still advised as an added precaution, CBS2’s Dave Carlin reported Thursday.

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Every week the number of air travelers goes up, from fewer than 200,000 per day last March to more than 1.5 million daily flyers handled by Transportation Security Administration agents.

There are now more crowds but fewer restrictions.


When Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed off on ending the mandatory quarantine, he was blasted as reckless by Mayor Bill de Blasio and some public health experts.

But some say not having them on the same page makes traveling unnerving.

“I know we’re not supposed to quarantine, but that’s really it,” said Manhattan resident Reema Vaidya, who was traveling to South Carolina. “I guess with the vaccinations, things are just changing at a rapid rate.”

The quarantine was down to less than a week after starting in June as a required two-week stretch.

Everyone is still required to fill out the New York state traveler health form.

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International travelers are still required quarantine, but not domestic travelers. However, they are urged to do it voluntarily.

Peter Roth, general manager of Park Hyatt New York in Manhattan, said 80% of his business comes from guests who are traveling domestically. This latest change arrived on the very day he reopened his hotel doors after a yearlong hibernation.

“It’s a very, very important piece of the puzzle. Every restriction that is lifted has a cumulative effect on how we are going to come back in New York City,” Roth told CBS2’s Cory James.

The ramping up of vaccinations has brought so much hope, Delta is planning to put middle seats back in use in May. The airline’s CEO, Ed Bastian, talked about it with Gayle King on CBS This Morning.

“The vaccinations are soaring,” Bastian sad. “We’ve got to respond to the surge in demand that people are looking to travel.”

When the state announced it was dropping the domestic quarantine back on mid-March, Mayor de Blasio said, “I don’t know if that’s the state’s idea of an April Fool’s joke, but it’s absolutely the wrong thing to do.”

But Fully Fitness trainer Phil Mucaria said he does not fear jammed flights. As he left New York for a business trip in Chicago, he said any renewed warnings from public health experts and others about COVID-19 rates and variables will not keep him away from air travel.

“Everyone is still gonna go,” Mucaria said. “Or, you can just tell people to stay home if you’re nervous. Don’t travel. It’s real easy.”

Travel experts advise travelers to check with employers about policies. Those looking to book flights for 2021 are being told to do it now rather than later when prices could rise.

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CBS2’s Cory James contributed to this report

Dave Carlin