With parts of the United States seeing their coronavirus numbers rise, threatening to wipe out two months of progress, some states in the Northeast are implementing new travel restrictions to ensure the number of cases continue to trend downward.
Here are the current travel restrictions in Northeastern states.
New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut
The governors of these three states announced Wednesday, June 24, they are issuing new travel advisories, which began Thursday, June 25, that urge people arriving from states with high coronavirus infection rates to self-quarantine for 14 days.
The new guidance applies to anyone traveling to the tri-state area from states with new daily positive test rates higher than 10 per 100,000 residents or from states with a 10 percent or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average.
As of Tuesday, July 21, the states that meet the criteria are Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.
Additionally, travelers arriving in New York from those states will face a $2,000 fine if they don’t fill out a form at the airport that state officials will use to ensure they’re following quarantine restrictions. Under a new state emergency health order issued Monday, July 13, people who don’t fill out the form could also face a hearing and an order to complete a mandatory quarantine.
Those who are traveling to New York by other means, including cars and trains, must go online to fill out the form, which asks for the traveler’s birth date, phone number, email address, gender, date of arrival, and method of travel into the state. People are also asked to indicate whether their final destination is in New York, if their primary residence is in the state, and how long and where they’re staying.
“As part of the enforcement operation, enforcement teams will be stationed at airports statewide to meet arriving aircrafts at gates and greet disembarking passengers to request proof of completion of the State Department of Health traveler form, which is being distributed to passengers by airlines prior to, and upon boarding or disembarking flights to New York State,” the travel advisory states.
People arriving to Massachusetts are encouraged to self-quarantine for 14 days regardless of where they are arriving from, according to a state advisory that has been in place since March 27.
However, Governor Charlie Baker has announced that effective July 1, he was relaxing that policy so that people traveling from seven nearby states — New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire — were exempt from the self-quarantine rule, due to “lower infection rates across the Northeast region.”
“These surrounding states, like Massachusetts, are seeing a significant decline in cases and new hospitalizations,” Baker said.
Massachusetts currently has a “safer-at-home” advisory in place, which asks residents to “leave home only for healthcare, worship and permitted work, shopping, and outdoor activities.”
Rhode Island is requiring anyone traveling into the state from an area with a high positivity rate of COVID-19 to self-quarantine for 14 days, or produce proof of a negative test that was taken within 72 hours before arriving. (Those who receive a negative test result after arriving in Rhode Island can also stop quarantining.)
As of Tuesday, June 30, states that fall under this designation include Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Washington, according to Rhode Island’s official website.
Visitors can avoid quarantine requirements when arriving if their home county has less than 400 active cases of COVID-19 per 1 million residents.
The state also has advised that residents who are returning by car from counties in New England or New York that have similar active caseloads to Vermont don’t need to quarantine.
The state mandates that all out-of-state travelers who are visiting and residents who are returning home quarantine for 14 days when arriving.
However, people who test negative for the coronavirus within 72 hours before arriving in Maine don’t have to quarantine. Residents of New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey are exempt from the testing and quarantine requirements because the number of active coronavirus cases in those states is similar to or lower than Maine’s. Massachusetts and Rhode Island residents are not exempt from the requirements due to current coronavirus levels, Governor Janet Mills said.
Those who are visiting Maine but are not a Maine, New Hampshire, or Vermont resident will be asked to sign a form saying they have tested negative for COVID-19, are planning to complete the 14-day quarantine, or have already completed their quarantine. All Maine lodging establishments must provide the form during check-in, including at campgrounds, seasonal rentals, overnight camps, and other commercial lodging, like Airbnb.
The state is encouraging people to remain in their home state until additional restrictions are lifted.
Those who are planning to visit, regardless of where they are coming from, are asked to self-quarantine for 14 days and are encouraged to follow the latest travel guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“We realize this is a difficult, stressful and challenging time, but we all can help stop the spread of COVID-19 by practicing social distancing and staying close to home. We look forward to welcoming you back to New Hampshire when it is safe to travel once again,” officials wrote on the state’s official website.
Jaclyn Reiss of the Globe staff contributed to this report.