I bet you're tired of phrases like "the new normal" and "we're in a very fluid situation" and "we're not out of the woods yet". I know I am. I'm ready to travel more extensively again. I would really like to go to a concert. I'm ready to go to ballgames. But we're not there yet. The CDC advises against any non-essential travel (possibly with more requirements to come soon), and unfortunately, not only are we limited in our international travel goals and aspirations, we're also limited domestically. For ease of reference, here is a breakdown of the States with COVID-19 Travel Restrictions.
States with COVID-19 Travel Restrictions
Currently, Alaska requires proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of departure. A traveler declaration form must also be completed. If not test results are provided, a test may be taken upon arrival--but you'll have to foot the bill for a $250 test as well as self-quarantine until results are available.
For Alaska residents, there are the same requirements but the test is free of charge.
Whether a resident or a visitor, travelers are required to stay away from large crowds for at least five days after arrival. Visitors are also advised to take a second test about five days into the trip or if they experience any symptoms.
Although California recently lifted a regional stay-at-home order, there are still several requirements and recommendations across the state. Residents are advised to avoid traveling over 120 miles from their home, whether in state or not. Visitors are discouraged from visiting and are recommended to quarantine for 10 days after arrival.
The counties of San Francisco and Santa Clara have mandatory quarantines of 10 days for anyone arriving from outside the Bay Area region and Los Angeles has a 10 day quarantine requirement for anyone from outside Southern California.
Connecticut's requirements are a little more difficult to interpret. Basically, anyone from outside the country or state other than New York, New Jersey, and Rhode Island are required to quarantine for 10 days.
Here is where it gets a little trickier: if a traveler has spent more than 24 hours, within the past 10 days, in New York, New Jersey, or Rhode Island, and he or she plans to stay in Connecticut for 24 hours or longer, he or she must complete a travel health form.
In order to avoid the above requirements, a traveler may provide a negative COVID-19 test that was obtained within 72 hours of arrival. The test results can be emailed to DPH.COVID-Travel@ct.gov or faxed to 860-326-0529.
Here is big news as well: anyone who fails to meet the requirements opens themselves up to a $500 fine.
Hawaii has been one of the unpredictable states with COVID-19 travel restrictions--but understandably so. Currently, the state allows travelers to enter if they are able to provide proof of negative COVID-19 tests taken with 72 hours of departure. If no test results are provided, travelers are required to self-quarantine for 10 days. (They're serious too. More than a couple people have been arrested for breaking quarantine.)
The exception to the above requirements is Kauai. The island requires visitors to quarantine for 10 days. That said, Kauai also has a "resort bubble" program that will allow travelers to test out of the required quarantine before 10 days--as long as they are in certain resorts.
Although travelers can submit negative test results, some of the Hawaiian Islands are also conducting random testing upon arrival--whether you had previously submitted a negative result or not. The test is free of charge.
Additionally, travelers must complete a "Safe Travels" application and must submit the application within 24 hours of the departing flight. To complicate matters a little further, visitors to Maui are required to download an "AlohaSafe" or other COVID-19 exposure notification app. If the app is not downloaded prior to arrival, there will be a mandatory 10 day quarantine.
There are also rapidly changing inter-island restrictions so be sure to check the requirements and procedures for each island you plan on visiting.
Although Illinois is not currently one of the states with COVID-19 travel restrictions, the city of Chicago does currently have restrictions. Out-of-state visitors must be cognizant of a two-tier system in place to specify recommendations and requirements.
For example, if a state has more than 15 daily cases per 100,000 people, the state is in the "orange" category. Orange is interpreted as a state that residents are advised to avoid travel to. Additionally, those coming from an orange state are required to quarantine for 10 days or provide proof of a negative test obtain within 72 hours prior to arrival.
States that are considered "yellow" are those that have less than 15 positive cases per 100,000 people. Chicago residents are advised not to travel to the yellow states, but visitors from yellow states may enter without any requirements.
Basically, 49 of 50 states (Hawaii) or orange, so it's pretty much as universal as it can get as of now.
The state of Kansas mandates a quarantine for those entering the state who were in what the state deems as "high-risk locations or situations". Examples of "high-risk locations or situations" include cruises or out-of-state gatherings of 500 people or more. The mandatory quarantine also includes those who were exposed to a known COVID-19 positive case. The recommended length of quarantine in these situations may vary.
For travelers entering Kentucky, it is recommended that they complete a voluntary 14 day quarantine.
As one of the states with COVID-19 Travel Restrictions, Maine requires proof of negative test results within the previous 72 hours OR self-quarantine for 10 days. The proof of negative test results will be required when checking-in to any accommodations. This requirement includes out-of-state visitors as well as residents of Maine reentering the state.
Those under 18 years of age are exempt as long as they are with an adult who meets the requirements. Travelers from Vermont and New Hampshire are also exempt.
Although commuters and residents of Washington, D.C., Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and West Virginia are exempt, Maryland also has travel restrictions. For those traveling to Maryland, a COVID-19 test is advised within 72 hours of entering the state.
Residents of Maryland who visited states with positivity rates of 10 percent of above are recommended to test and then quarantine until results are available. Those caught violating could be fined $5000--or even wind up in prison.
Visitors and residents alike must complete a "Massachusetts Travel Form" prior to arrival. Additionally, those entering must provide proof of negative test results taken within the previous 72 hours, or quarantine for 10 days.
Those coming from what the state considers "low-risk states" are not required to quarantine. That said, similar to Chicago's requirements, Hawaii is the only state considered "low-risk" as of now--so maybe plan on being one of those "high-risk" types of travelers. Those not abiding to the requirements can be fined up to $500.
Though no official requirements, out-of-state is discouraged and a 14 day quarantine is recommended for visitors and residents entering the state.
In New Hampshire, all non-essential travel is discouraged. Those coming from states other than Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island must self-quarantine for 10 days upon arrival. The length of quarantine can be shortened if negative test results are obtained on or after the seventh day of quarantine.
There is one unique aspect of New Hampshire's COVID-19 travel restrictions. Those who have been vaccinated for more than 14 days are exempt. Additionally, those who have previously tested positive for COVID-19 in the previous 90 days are also exempt.
Residents from the states of New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Delaware are exempt from the following:
Those entering New Jersey are asked to self-quarantine for 10 days upon arrival. It is also recommended for test results to be obtained three to five days after travel. Negative results means a traveler would only need to quarantine for 7 days.
New Mexico requires visitors, and residents who are reentering the state, to quarantine for 14 days.
New York requires those arriving, who are not from one of the surrounding states, to quarantine for 10 days upon arrival; however, non-symptomatic travels may "test out" early in the following situation:
If a traveler has been out of the state for 24 hours or more, he or she must be administered at test within three day of arriving in New York. Once he or she arrives, they must quarantine for three days and then take another test on day four. The traveler can stop quarantining after receiving a negative test result.
All travelers entering New York must complete the "traveler health form" 24 hours prior to arrival.
The "traveler health form" requires special attention because there is a lot at stake. Officers at airports will collect the mandatory form while those traveling by other means (trains/cars) must submit the form online. Failure to complete and submit the form can lead to a giant $10,000 fine and mandatory quarantine. Fill out that form...
A 14 day quarantine is advised for visitors and residents entering the state if they came from states that have a 15 percent or higher positivity rate.
Those entering Oregon are advised to quarantine for 14 days after arrival. This includes residents of Oregon who are returning. Those who travel for essential reasons (employment, school, healthcare, etc.) are exempt from the recommendation.
Quarantine for 10 days is advised for visitors and residents entering Pennsylvania; however, providing a negative COVID-19 test result taken 72 hours prior to arrival. Pennsylvania does exempt those traveling through the state to another destination.
Visitors to Rhode Island must submit a "certificate of compliance" form and a "out-of-state screening" form upon entry. These forms will be required during accommodation check-in. Additionally, unless coming from a state with a positivity rate of less than 5 percent, travelers must provide proof of a negative COVID test within the previous 72 hours or quarantine for 10 days.
Travelers entering Vermont are required to quarantine for 14 days; however, a test may be taken on day seven and quarantine may end after receiving a negative result.
Vermont also additional requirements that may impact travel plans. Gathering with those outside your immediate family is not allowed; therefore, travelers may not stay with family members outside their household or where other families may be staying (i.e. bed and breakfast, etc.).
Anyone entering Washington (visitors and residents) are advised to quarantine for 14 days.
Those coming from Maryland and Virginia, essential workers, and those traveling due to family emergency/funerals, are exempt from the following requirements:
Those entering D.C. for more than 24 hours, after coming from a state with more than 10 positive cases per 100,000 people, must provide negative test results obtained within 72 hours prior to arrival.
If staying longer than three days, a second test must be obtained three to five days after arrival.
Residents returning to D.C. are required to limit interactions and to monitor themselves for 14 days. This duration can be shortened if a negative result is obtained after 72 hours.
Conclusion to States with COVID-19 Travel Restrictions
Again, things are changing daily. There are big announcements to come in the near future regarding travel. While this information is intended to provide information, it is not a replacement for checking with each state's requirements. Be sure to be up to date with your destination(s).
Travel and life will normalize and return one day--but we aren't there yet. The coming Federal requirements, in addition to State requirement, as well as the administration of vaccines, will continue to change the landscape. As much as I hate to admit it, we really are "in a very fluid situation" and we really aren't "out of the woods yet"--but hang in there! Travel WILL be back to normal someday.
This post will be updated as new information is gathered. Check by often and don't forget to subscribe below for regular updates.