U.S. interstate travel restrictions and self-quarantine mandates have continued to evolve over the past several weeks and, in some states, the COVID-19 curve seems to have flattened to the point where communities have begun reopening.
Simultaneously, Americans are beginning to get really antsy after adhering to shelter-in-place orders for more than months now and, with summer approaching, there’s a palpable sense that people are itching to take to the road for some semblance of a vacation.
A USA Today team uncovered the most recent updates among states that had previously issued quarantine rules and recommendations on visitors and residents returning from out of state.
Effective through June 2, Alaska requires incoming travelers to go straight from the airport to their “designated quarantine location” (referring to residents’ homes, or visitors’ hotel rooms or rented lodgings). They must remain there, avoiding all nonessential outings for fourteen days or the duration of their visit, if it’s shorter than two weeks.
An Arkansas Department of Health directive went into effect on May 14, mandating fourteen-days self-quarantine for all inbound travelers coming from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and New Orleans, as well as all foreign countries.
The state has instructed anyone entering its borders using any mode of transportation to self-quarantine for fourteen days upon arrival.
Delaware requires all out-of-state travelers to self-quarantine for fourteen days, although it exempts those who are just passing through, as well as public safety or healthcare workers, or anyone supporting emergency services or essential business operations. Law enforcement officers are, however, authorized to stop any vehicles with out-of-state plates.
Florida requires anyone arriving from the New York tri-state area (New York, New Jersey and Connecticut) and Louisiana to self-quarantine for fourteen days or the duration of their stay, if it’s shorter. Airline employees are exempted, as well as people “performing military, emergency or health responses”.
The governor’s emergency proclamation requires all inbound visitors and returning residents to fill out a declaration form upon arriving at the airport and proceed straight to their “designated quarantine location”, remaining there for fourteen days or the length of their stay, if it’s shorter than two weeks. The state now also requires anyone traveling between any of the Hawaiian Islands to do the same.
Per the state’s new “Stay Healthy” order, which went into effect May 16, people entering Idaho from areas with substantial community spread are “strongly encouraged” to self-quarantine for fourteen days. The order also specifies that nonessential travel should be minimized or avoided altogether.
Kansas has imposed a mandate upon its residents who have traveled to certain states to quarantine for fourteen days. As of May 12, the rule applied to returning Kansans who’d visited these destinations during the specified time period: New York from March 15 forward; New Jersey and Illinois from March 23; Connecticut from April 6; Maryland from May 12; and Massachusetts and Rhode Island from April 30.
Maine is requiring travelers entering from any other state in the union, as well as residents returning to Maine from out of state, to self-quarantine for fourteen days.
Visitors are instructed not to travel to Massachusetts if they are experiencing coronavirus symptoms, and all incoming travelers are obligated to self-quarantine for fourteen days. “Healthcare workers, public health workers, public safety workers, transportation workers and designated essential workers” are exempted.
Effective through June 1, both residents and nonresidents entering the Montana for non-work-related purposes are required to self-quarantine for fourteen days or the duration of their stay.
Arrivals coming from international destinations are instructed to self-quarantine and monitor themselves for symptoms for fourteen, or length of their stay, if it’s shorter. Healthcare workers, commuters and select other groups are exempted from the recommendation.
In a May 13 update, the New Mexico Department of Health stated that the fourteen-day quarantine order for out-of-state airport arrivals remain in force. Out-of-state residents are also prohibited from booking vacation rentals.
Oklahoma’s executive order remains in effect, requiring those arriving on flights from the New York tri-state area (New York, New Jersey and Connecticut), Washington state, California or Louisiana to self-quarantine for fourteen days. The mandate does not apply to airline personnel, military, healthcare and emergency workers.
Although Rhode Island’s governor lifted its stay-at-home order on May 9 for residents, the state’s fourteen-day self-quarantine rule still applies to people coming in from any other state via any form of transportation. Persons traveling to Rhode Island to receive medical treatment are exempted.
While it’s no longer mandated, South Carolina recommends that travelers coming from an area with ongoing, widespread COVID-19 transmission self-quarantine for fourteen days from the time they departed the area.
While its governor announced on May 16 that Utah had de-escalated to “yellow” or low-risk, official recommendations for limiting out-of-state movements and respecting a fourteen-day quarantine period upon return from high-risk areas remains in place.
Vermont is requiring both visitors and returning residents traveling into Vermont “for anything other than an essential purpose” to self-quarantine for fourteen days upon arrival. The governor’s state of emergency order has been extended through June 15.
The state Department of Health recommends that anyone who has traveled internationally, on a cruise ship or riverboat, to an area of the U.S. with widespread transmission quarantine themselves for fourteen days.
According to the state Department of Health Services’ recommendations, visitors and residents who have traveled within the U.S. or internationally should, “limit your exposure to others outside of your home as much as possible for fourteen days following your return.”