Are travelers from outside the US obligated to follow the 14-day quarantine in New York state?

Travel Asked on January 4, 2022

As per the latest press release by New York State:

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that 10 additional states meet the metrics to qualify for the travel advisory requiring individuals who have traveled to New York from those states, all of which have significant community spread, to quarantine for 14 days. The newly-added states are Alaska, Delaware, Indiana, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, Virginia and Washington. The quarantine applies to any person arriving from a state with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents over a 7-day rolling average or a state with a 10 percent or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average.

Does this quarantine also apply to someone traveling from outside the US? Neither the press release nor the original executive order mention anything about foreign travel.

NB: this question is purely about the legal requirement of quarantine. Let’s avoid discussing whether or not voluntary quarantine is a good idea or not.

2 Answers

Starting from August 23rd, people arriving from abroad no longer have to self-isolate according to the CDC, which removes the quarantine requirement on the federal level:

Travelers returning from a trip outside the country or their state no longer face recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to self-quarantine for 14 days upon return.

The CDC updated its travel requirements online Friday, advising travelers to "follow state, territorial, tribal and local recommendations or requirements after travel." Previous guidelines recommended a 14-day quarantine for those returning from international destinations or areas with a high concentration of coronavirus cases.

However, New York responded to this by requiring the majority of travelers to quarantine for 14 days when arriving from abroad, starting from September 28th:

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed an executive order reminding international travelers entering New York from Level 2 and 3 countries to quarantine and fill out the NYS Department of Health traveler health form to further prevent the spread of COVID-19 as countries across the globe experience alarming second waves of the virus. New York State has since March 2020, required a mandatory quarantine for any traveler entering New York from a Level 2 or Level 3 country - that's all but 31 countries on the globe.

Thus, it is no longer possible to skip NY's quarantine when flying in from abroad.

Answered by JonathanReez on January 4, 2022

The New York State quarantine requirement only applies to travelers coming from one of the designated US states. However, all people entering the US are expected to follow the CDC guidance for returning from international travel and stay home for 14 days.

My answer above is out of date; see Jonathan's answer below for the current situation as of October/November 2020.

Answered by mlc on January 4, 2022

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