NEW YORK – A handful of states are now requiring two weeks of quarantine following interstate travel.
On Wednesday, June 24, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut issued travel requirements that people arriving from states with currently heightened levels of COVID-19 cases must self-quarantine for 14 days before resuming normal activity with the states.
These requirements apply to anyone traveling from a state that currently has a positive test rate higher than .01%, or greater than 10 per 100,000 residents over a seven-day period.
As of June 24, these high infection rate states include Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Utah, and Texas.
Update: As of July 15, the states included in the advisory are now Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin.
Violators of these instructions, and thus their self-quarantine, will be subject to fines between $2,000-10,000. These restrictions, and penalties, apply to all travels as well as state residents returning home from any of the above states.
WHAT THIS MEANS FOR TRAVEL NURSES
This policy applies to anyone traveling from a hotspot state to New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, and includes travel nurses and other medical staff.
If you are a nurse currently living in one of the hotspot states listed above and planning to take a contract in NY, NJ or CT, you will need to first move to the state of work and self-quarantine in that state at least 14 days prior to starting your contract.
On the other hand, Hawaii is looking to loosen requirements by August in order to incentivize a return to tourism. However, there is a plan in place to do so safely. Beginning August 1st, travelers arriving in Hawaii will be able to avoid the 14-day required quarantine with proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to arrival.
Currently to be decided if other states will follow suit, but for now, it’s important to ensure you understand any and all requirements your residing state(s) may have in place if you intend to travel, whether to pursue a new travel nursing opportunity or for pleasure.