New York travel restrictions lifted come April

ALBANY, N.Y. (WETM) — Domestic travel restrictions have been lifted for New York residents. Travelers are no longer required to quarantine after entering New York from anywhere in the U.S. starting April 1.

While no longer required, the NYS Department of Health still recommends quarantine after domestic travel as an added precaution.

Jack Wheeler, the Steuben County Manager said lifting the travel restrictions for vaccinated travelers makes sense, but for those who aren’t vaccinated, it raises concerns. “The DOH controls all of that, so we will obviously abide by the guidance,” he said. “I think that’s something that we really have to keep an eye on, especially if there are flare-ups in other parts of the country, with spring break coming up and other things. I think that is something that we’re going to have to keep a very close eye on.”

As for the airline industry, Tom Freeman—the Direction of Aviation at the Elmira-Corning Regional Airport—said this helps the industry a lot. “We expect the lifting of the New York State travel ban really enhanced travel out of the airport,” he said. “Particularly with leisure travel—initially, you know the trips to Florida and then with business travel piling up.”

Mandatory quarantine remains in effect for international travelers. All travelers must continue to fill out the Traveler Health Form. Individuals should continue strict adherence to all safety guidelines to stop the spread—wearing masks, socially distancing, and avoiding gatherings.

“New Yorkers have shown strength and perseverance throughout this entire pandemic, and it shows through the numbers that continue to decrease every day,” Cuomo said in a written statement. “As we work to build our vaccination infrastructure even further and get more shots in arms, we’re making significant progress in winning the footrace between the infection rate and the vaccination rate, allowing us to open new sectors of our economy and start our transition to a new normal in a post-pandemic world. As part of that transition, quarantine for domestic travelers is no longer required, but it is still being advised as an added precaution. This is great news, but it is not an all-clear for New Yorkers to let their guard down. To beat this virus once and for all we all must continue doing what we know works to stop the spread, including wearing masks, washing our hands, and practicing social distancing.”

Regardless of quarantine status, all individuals exposed to COVID-19 or returning from travel must:

  • Continue daily symptom monitoring through Day 14
  • Continue strict adherence to all recommended non-pharmaceutical interventions, including hand hygiene and the use of face coverings, through Day 14 (even if fully vaccinated)
  • Immediately self-isolate if any symptoms develop and contact the local public health authority or their healthcare provider to report this change in clinical status and determine if they should seek testing

This announcement comes after other restrictions were lifted last weekend, including increasing indoor dining capacity to 75% in New York State and 35% in New York City. Vaccinations in New York also increased to 60 and older this week, and the list of essential workers who are eligible also expanded.

“Our fight in the war against COVID-19 continues, but we are encouraged by the decrease in infection and hospitalization rates and the rise in vaccinations,” Cuomo said. “As we expand our vaccine distribution and celebrate the arrival of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, we have never been closer to defeating this beast once and for all. It is critical that New Yorkers not succumb to COVID fatigue and remain vigilant. Until the day the war is won, we all need to continue the practices we know work—washing hands, social distancing, and masking up. The numbers are a reflection of our actions and when we work together, we will see the light at the end of the tunnel.”