New York Replaces Travel Advisory List With Testing Protocol for Out-of-state Visitors

NYC

Travelers heading to New York will now be required to take a COVID-19 test instead of having to quarantine for 14 days.

Starting Wednesday, travelers to the state will be required to get tested for COVID-19 within three days of their departure, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Saturday. Then, they will have to quarantine in New York for three days before being allowed to get tested again on the fourth day. If both tests are negative, they will be allowed to leave quarantine.

New Yorkers who leave the state for less than 24 hours will be required to fill out a traveler information form when they return and get tested four days after coming back, but will not have to quarantine or complete any pre-departure testing.

The new system replaces the travel advisory list, which was based on case and testing numbers and required a 14-day quarantine and grew and grew until it encompassed nearly every state in the country. Neighboring states New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania are exempt from the new order along with essential workers.

“We had a list and we started to add states to the list when they hit certain metrics. The list started small and then the list got longer and longer and longer and longer,” Cuomo said during a news conference. “We're going to a new plan given the changing facts, we're coming up with a new program. And all the experts suggest we shift to a testing policy… There will be no quarantine list, there will be no metrics. There will be one rule that applies across the country.”

The new test-out protocol comes as New York City’s Mayor Bill de Blasio has discouraged New Yorkers from traveling for Thanksgiving and Christmas amid rising case numbers in other states. It also comes as international travel has begun to ramp back up, including with Singapore Airlines’ plan to relaunch nonstop flights between New York City and Singapore this month (the longest flight in the world).

New York isn’t the only state in the country to deploy a testing protocol for visitors. Hawaii, for example, allows travelers to skip the state’s quarantine if they arrive with a negative COVID-19 test from a “trusted partner,” and Massachusetts requires visitors from several states to show a negative test prior to arrival in order to avoid their mandatory quarantine. 

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she’s not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.

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