Governor issues Executive Order (EO) 205 on Travel Restrictions

As announced yesterday, Governor Cuomo released EO 205 late last night in relation to quarantine restrictions on travelers arriving in New York.

In response to increased rates of COVID-19 transmission in certain states within the United States, and to protect New York’s successful containment of COVID-19, the State has joined with New Jersey and Connecticut in jointly issuing a travel advisory for anyone returning from travel to states that have a significant degree of community-wide spread of COVID-19.

The travel advisory went into effect at 12:01 A.M. today, Thursday, June 25, 2020.

Travelers from within one of the designated states must quarantine for 14 days upon entering New York from the last travel within such designated state. Designated states currently include: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah.

The Department of Health (DOH/the Department) has also released interim guidance related to EO 205.

The guidance covers:

  • Criteria for Designating States with Significant Community Spread;
  • Guidance for Travel;
  • Quarantine Requirements; and
  • Travel Advisory Exemptions for Essential Workers.
In addition, the guidance cross-references previously issued guidance about returning to work after possible infection or exposure to COVID-19.

HCP is seeking further guidance and clarification on how and if the exemptions for essential workers apply when an essential worker travels to a designated state for reasons unrelated to employment and subsequently returns home to New York to resume working. HCP will report back as more information becomes available.

Pursuant to the guidance as written, exceptions to the travel advisory are permitted for essential workers and are limited based on the duration of time such worker was present in a designated state(s), as well as the intended duration of time in New York as follows:

Short Term – for essential workers traveling to New York State for a period of less than 12 hours.

  • This includes instances such as an essential worker passing through New York, delivering goods, awaiting flight layovers, and other short duration activities.
  • Essential workers should stay in their vehicle and/or limit personal exposure by avoiding public spaces as much as possible.
  • Essential workers should monitor temperature and signs of symptoms, wear a face covering when in public, maintain social distance, and clean and disinfect workspaces.
  • Essential workers are required, to the extent possible, to avoid extended periods in public, contact with strangers, and large congregate settings.

Medium Term – for essential workers traveling to New York State for a period of less than 36 hours, requiring them to stay overnight.

  • This includes instances such as an essential worker delivering multiple goods in New York, awaiting longer flight layover, and other medium duration activities.
  • Essential workers should monitor temperature and signs of symptoms, wear a face covering when in public, maintain social distance, and clean and disinfect workspaces.
  • Essential workers are required, to the extent possible, to avoid extended periods in public, contact with strangers, and large congregate settings.

Long Term – for essential workers traveling to New York State for a period of greater than 36 hours, requiring them to stay several days.

  • This includes instances such as an essential worker working on longer projects, fulfilling extended employment obligations, and other longer duration activities.
  • Essential workers should seek diagnostic testing for COVID-19 as soon as possible upon arrival (within 24 hours) to ensure they are not positive.
  • Essential workers should monitor temperature and signs of symptoms, wear a face covering when in public, maintain social distancing, clean and disinfect workspaces for a minimum of 14 days.
  • Essential workers, to the extent possible, are required to avoid extended periods in public, contact with strangers, and large congregate settings for a period of, at least, 7 days.
  • Essential workers and their employers are expected to comply with previously issued DOH guidance regarding return to work after a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 or after the employee had close or proximate contact with a person with COVID-19.

Conclusion

The travel advisory requires all New Yorkers, as well as those visiting from out of state, to take personal responsibility for complying with the advisory in the best interest of public health and safety.