Are you welcome in the state you’re heading? Here’s how to know before you go.
While it may seem that the country has completely reopened for travel during the COVID-19 pandemic, the reality is more of a patchwork of rules and guidelines that vary by state. Depending on where you live or where you’ve been, some states may require you to self-quarantine for two weeks.
If you’re hitting the road for a getaway, be aware that roughly one in five states have restrictions.
Florida: Thinking of heading to the Sunshine State? Travelers entering Florida from the New York Tri-State Area (Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York) must self-isolate for 14 days “from the time of entry into Florida or the duration of the individual’s presence in Florida, whichever is shorter.” This mandate applies whether you arrive by plane or car.
Governor Ron DeSantis extended this executive order on June 5. Ironically, over recent weeks Florida has been experiencing a significant increase in Covid-19 cases while the number of new cases in the New York Tri-State Area has declined.
Kansas: If you have stepped foot in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas or Maryland, you need to 14-day self-quarantine when you get to Kansas. The same goes if you’ve been on a cruise ship or traveled internationally. This applies to both Kansas residents and visitors to Kansas.
The Kansas Department of Heath and Environment says it made its list using a number of sources of data including the number of cases each state has and whether the state is reporting widespread community transmission to make the determination.
Maine: Earlier this month, the Pine Tree State rolled out a brand-new initiative that offers visitors a choice: self-quarantine for two weeks or get tested for Covid-19. Adults who receive a negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours of arrival can forgo the 14-day quarantine upon arrival in Maine. It makes sense to be tested in your home state before arriving; you can be tested in Maine, but then you must quarantine while awaiting the results.
Massachusetts: Since March 27, all travelers arriving to Massachusetts have been instructed to self-quarantine for 14 days. This guidance is displayed on posters at service plazas along 1-90 (a.k.a. the Mass Turnpike) eastbound, distributed as flyers at major transportation hubs and on posted on highway message boards.
New Hampshire: The Granite State would prefer that you come another time. “We are encouraging you to remain in your home state until additional restrictions are lifted. Currently, we ask those from out-of-state who will be traveling to and staying in New Hampshire for an extended period of time to self-quarantine for a two-week period,” says the state website.
New Mexico: Thinking of beginning a road trip tour of the American Southwest in Albuquerque or Santa Fe? Per a June 1 executive order from Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, travelers who fly into New Mexico airports must self-quarantine for 14 days (or fewer if their stay is shorter).
New York: There is currently no self-quarantine rule in the Empire State. But in a press briefing earlier this week, Governor Andrew Cuomo said is considering a mandatory 14-day quarantine for travelers from states experiencing high Covid-19 infection rates, specifically citing Florida and Texas as examples.
Rhode Island: Per Governor Gina Raimondo’s May 29 executive order, “Any person coming to Rhode Island for a non-work-related purpose from another city, town, county or state that has imposed a stay-at-home restriction, a shelter-in-place restriction or similar restriction, declaration, or announcement due to a Covid-19 outbreak, must immediately self-quarantine for 14 days.” This order is set to expire on June 29, but may be extended.
Vermont: Effective since June 15, travelers arriving in Vermont must complete a 14-day quarantine in Vermont or, alternatively, complete a seven-day quarantine followed by a negative COVID-19 test in their home state. All out of state travelers staying in hotels, campgrounds or rental properties must sign and complete a certificate of compliance to attest that they have met all quarantine requirements, and are strongly encouraged to register with Sara Alert upon arrival to Vermont to get two weeks of daily reminders to check for common symptoms of COVID-19.
Worth noting: Though they are not road trip destinations, both Hawaii and Alaska continue to impose COVID-19 restrictions on travelers. Through July 31, out-of-state visitors to the Aloha State must self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival. Alaska offers visitors a choice: self-quarantine or get tested for COVID-19.