NYS Quarantine Restrictions for International and Domestic Travelers in the U.S.

By Elizabeth M. Klarin

November 3, 2020 | Immigration Blog

This update is provided to our Q&A post on October 29, 2020, regarding quarantine restrictions and requirements for travelers from Canada and elsewhere worldwide coming to the U.S. via New York state, or from another state within the U.S. to New York State.
New York state has added COVID-testing requirements in place of requiring 14 day quarantine for certain travelers coming to or returning to New York state. 
Starting at 12:01 a.m. tonight, on November 4, 2020, all travelers entering New York (state) from a state which is not a contiguous state (or presumably from Canada and other countries designated as COVID-19 Level 2 or Level 3 countries) are being required to quarantine for a period of 14 days, consistent with NYS Department of Health regulations for quarantine, unless:
  • For travelers who travel outside of New York for less than 24 hours, the traveler need not test prior to departure from the state, and does not need to quarantine upon arrival. However, such travelers must continue to fill out the traveler form upon entry, and further, shall take a diagnostic test on the fourth day after arrival in New York
  • For any traveler who has traveled outside of New York for more than 24 hours, such traveler must seek testing prior to departure from that state, within 72 hours of departure, prior to arrival in New York. The traveler must, upon arrival in New York, quarantine according to Department of Health guidelines for a minimum of three days, measured from time of arrival and on day 4 may seek a diagnostic test to exit quarantine. The traveler may exit quarantine upon receipt of the second negative test result.
Since Canada is not a “contiguous state” but rather a country with a Level 2 or 3 COVID-19 designation, we believe that the application of the September 28, 2020 executive order in light of this more recent update requires that individuals coming from Canada to New York state must now either (1) quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in NYS, OR (2) seek COVID testing within 72 hours prior to departure from Canada to NY, and also quarantine for a minimum of three days upon arrival and seek a COVID test on day 4, after which they may exit quarantine upon receipt of the second negative test result.
The NYS Health Commissioner may issue additional protocols for essential workers, or for other extraordinary circumstances, when a quarantine is not possible.
Any violation of a quarantine or isolation order issued to an individual pursuant to the Commissioner of the Department of Health's travel advisory by a local department of health or state department of health may be deemed a violation imposing a civil penalty of up to $10,000. Travelers should take note that, as before, it is not clear whether or how these new requirements will be enforced. 
If you are traveling to NYS from Canada, please email eklarin@lippes.com with reports regarding NYS efforts (or lack thereof) to track whether you have completed COVID testing before departure from Canada or after entry to the U.S., so that we may update other clients regarding the application of these new policies and the level of real risk faced by travelers from Canada to the U.S.

Disclaimer: The information in this post is provided for general informational purposes only, and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this post should be construed as legal advice from our firm or the individual author, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.

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