Travelers to New York must test negative before and after they arrive

  • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Saturday announced new measures to combat the spread of COVID-19 in the state of New York.
  • Those traveling to the state will need to test negative for the disease within three days of their trip and quarantine immediately upon entering. 
  • After three days, that traveler must also get a second test for COVID-19, and if it is negative, they will be permitted to cease quarantining, the state announced.
  • New Yorkers who are leaving the state for less than 24 hours do not need to obtain a test before returning to the state but must be tested within four days of returning to the state.
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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Saturday a new travel mandate for people who come to the state. 

Under the new rules, if an individual is traveling to New York, they must test negative for COVID-19 within three days of making their trip, the governor’s office said. Once they arrive in New York, they must quarantine for a three-day period before receiving an additional test for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. 

If the results of the second COVID-19 test are also negative, a person is permitted to end their period of quarantine. If an individual is traveling from New York to another state for a period fewer than 24 hours, they do not need to be tested before returning but must get tested within four days of returning to New York.

The Saturday announcement replaces a previous policy that required individuals to quarantine for a two-week period if they were coming to the state from a list of more than 40 states that did not meet criteria set by state officials. 

The change comes as the US deals with the latest wave of COVID-19 cases. On Friday, the US reported nearly 100,000 new cases of the virus: shattering the record for the most cases reported in a single day since the pandemic began.


While President Donald Trump has continued to blame the increase on an increase in testing for the disease, The COVID Tracking Project reported that the number of positive cases was rising more sharply than the number of tests administered, according to a previous Business Insider report.

While the state of New York saw the most severe outbreak of COVID-19 nationally, it was able to stem the spread of the virus in the spring and summer months. But as temperatures cool and cases spike across the US, cases in New York have also begun to rise.

The positive rate in the state over the past week is about 1.5% over the past week, according to data analyzed by Johns Hopkins University. While that’s lower than the 6.4% rate nationally over the past seven days, it’s higher than the end of summer when the rate in New York dipped below 1%. 

In “focus zones” — areas of the state where officials are monitoring a cluster of cases — state officials on Thursday reported a positivity rate of 3.24% compared with a 1.25% positivity rate in the rest of New York. Cuomo said Saturday the order will be enforced by local health departments, according to State of Politics.

The change was announced as the state of New York would have now met its own requirements for the 14-day quarantine mandate required of individuals traveling from certain states under the previous policy, according to the report. 

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