Here Are the States in the U.S. with Coronavirus-Related Travel Restrictions

By Anna Breuer on 3 December 2020
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Almost half the states in the Union, as well as the District of Columbia, now require or ask individuals traveling to these locations to be tested for Covid-19 and/or to self-quarantine upon arrival.

Now that the Thanksgiving holiday is past, and health officials are more concerned than ever about a surge upon a surge, observing quarantine periods and testing requirements is critical to lessening the spread of the coronavirus.

While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention hasn’t changed the recommended period for self-quarantine, it is currently considering shortening the period based on an improved understanding of the coronavirus’ patterns. Since this could eventually impact state requirements it pays to keep abreast of changes in any regions you may plan to visit.

Here is a list of states’ requirements, updated at press time, to help guide you.

Alaska – Anyone arriving in the Last Frontier must submit proof of a negative molecular-based Covid-19 test to the state’s online portal, as well as submit a travel declaration and self-isolation plan.  Travelers must obtain a second test within 14 days of arrival.

California – Individuals traveling to California should self-quarantine for 14 days after arrival.

Connecticut – Anyone traveling to the Nutmeg State from a state on Connecticut’s list of affected states, which at press time included Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island as well as the nation’s capital Washington, D.C., must self-quarantine for 14 days. The traveler must have spent more than 24 hours in said area for the rule to apply and upon entering Connecticut must complete a travel health form.

Hawaii – Travelers going to Hawaii who do not wish to be subject to a 14-day quarantine will need to present negative Covid-19 test results from one of the state’s trusted testing partners prior to their flight’s departure.

Illinois – Only travelers headed to Chicago are subject to restrictions. The Windy City has placed states into three categories, namely red, orange, and yellow. Visitors coming in from a red state must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival, while anyone visiting from orange states must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival or test negative for Covid-19 72 hours prior to their trip. Individuals visiting from yellow states do not have to quarantine nor be tested before traveling.

Kansas – Only individuals who have either been on a cruise ship or taken a river cruise after March 15, 2020, or who have attended a large gathering of 500 people or more where individuals did not practice social distancing and/or did not wear masks must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Kansas.

Kentucky – The Bluegrass State currently recommends a 14-day quarantine period for travelers arriving from 15 states, namely Alabama, Arizona, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming.

Maine – Individuals visiting Maine must either quarantine for 14 days or sign a declaration stating they’ve received a negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours. Travelers may also have a Covid-19 test taken once arriving in the state. Visitors from New Hampshire and Vermont are exempt from these requirements.

Maryland – Anyone arriving in the Old Line State is asked to get a Covid-19 test 72 hours prior to arrival. Visitors from states with a test positivity rate greater than 10% are advised to obtain a test and self-quarantine until a negative result is confirmed.  Those traveling from Delaware, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C., are exempt.

Massachusetts – Visitors to the state who do not live in a low-risk state must complete a state-mandated travel form before arrival and they must either produce a negative Covid-19 test result from a test taken within 72 hours of arrival in the state or quarantine for 14 days.  Commuters and anyone in transit are exempt from these requirements.

Minnesota – The state is currently asking residents to stay at home through December 18 and is discouraging out-of-state travel.  Visitors to the Land of 10,000 Lakes as well as returning residents are asked to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.

New Hampshire – Visitors from Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont who are staying for an extended period of time must quarantine for 14 days.  If a visitor is asymptomatic and also obtains a Covid-19 test with a negative result on or after the seventh day, he may end the quarantine period.

New Jersey – The Garden State is “strongly discouraging” all non-essential interstate travel, according to its governor.  All arrivals to the state except from low-risk states are asked to self-quarantine at home or at their hotel for the CDC recommended period of time, which is currently 14 days. The list of low-risk states is currently limited to Hawaii and New York as well as Washington, D.C.  Residents of several nearby states, namely Connecticut, Delaware, and Pennsylvania, are exempt.

New Mexico – Visitors from states considered high-risk must self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in the Land of Enchantment.

New York – The Empire State requires a 14-day quarantine for all arriving travelers with the exception of residents who are out of the state for fewer than 24 hours and visitors who obtain a negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours of arrival and then a second negative test on the third day in the state.  Residents who are out of the state for fewer than 24 hours are only required to obtain a negative test on the third day.

Ohio – Travelers arriving from any state with a test positivity rate of 15% or higher must self-quarantine for 14 days.

Oregon – The state is asking anyone entering the state to self-quarantine for 14 days.

Pennsylvania – The Keystone State requires visitors to obtain a negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours of arrival. Those who do not get tested must self-quarantine for 14 days.

Rhode Island – Visitors arriving from a state with a test positivity rate of 5% or higher must quarantine for 14 days.  In lieu of the quarantine period, visitors may produce a negative Covid-19 test result taken within 72 hours of arrival in Rhode Island.  Travelers from low-risk states, namely Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont at the moment, are exempt.

Vermont – The Green Mountain State is advising against all non-essential travel, even within the state. Any travel into the state requires a 14-day quarantine period although a negative Covid-19 test on or after the seventh day will end the quarantine period.

Virginia – Old Dominion is asking anyone who has been in an area where there was wide transmission of the virus or who attended a high-risk event is being asked to self-quarantine for 14 days.

Washington, D.C. – The District requires that anyone visiting from an area with more than ten Covid-19 cases per 100,000 people must get tested within 72 hours of arrival, and the same goes for anyone planning to stay in D.C. for more than three days.

Washington – Health officials in the Evergreen State recommend that anyone arriving from outside the state quarantine for 14 days.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)