NEW YORK — Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is doing away with the state’s COVID-19 travel advisory and requiring all travelers, regardless of what state they’re coming from, to test negative for the novel coronavirus.
Travelers must test negative for the coronavirus not once, but twice.
The original travel advisory required individuals from certain states to quarantine for 14 days upon their arrival in New York. Fluctuating week to week, the number of states on the list grew last week to include more than 35 states and two territories as COVID-19 infections continue to spike across the country.
“... all the experts suggest we shift to a testing policy,” the governor said. “... there will be no quarantine list, there will be no metrics. There will be one rule that applies across the country.”
The new guidance announced Saturday applies to visitors from all states and territories, except for states contiguous with New York — Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Vermont, Massachusetts and Connecticut.
Essential workers continue to be exempt from the mandate.
The governor outlined the new protocols Saturday.
If a traveler visits another state for more than 24 hours, the traveler must test negative for COVID twice. The traveler must first obtain a COVID test within three days of their departure from that state. They then must quarantine for three days upon arrival in New York. On day four of their quarantine, the traveler must get tested for COVID a second time. If both tests come back negative, the traveler may exit their quarantine early upon receiving the second negative test result.
Travelers who were in another state for less than 24 hours do not need to get tested prior to leaving that state, and the traveler doesn’t have to quarantine upon their arrival in New York either.
But, the traveler must fill out the state Department of Health’s required traveler information form upon their arrival in New York. The traveler must take a COVID test four days after their arrival in the state.
The new guidelines go into effect Wednesday.
“That’s the policy,” Gov. Cuomo said, “and the list and the metrics are no longer applicable.”
New York has the third-lowest COVID positivity rate in the nation, Gov. Cuomo said Saturday, but travel continues to be an issue.
If necessary, local health departments will validate tests.
If a traveler’s COVID test comes back positive, the state will issue isolation orders and initiate the contact tracing process.
The local health department must also make contact with the state the traveler came from to ensure contact tracing proceeds in that state, too.