Connecticut has released the newest edition of the COVID-19 travel advisory list of the states and territories considered hot spots for coronavirus and there are some significant updates impacting New England locations.
Massachusetts, California and Pennsylvania were added to the list Tuesday, and no locations were removed, bringing the total number of hotspots on the list to 42.
Massachusetts now meets the criteria for the travel advisory. It was not added to New York's quarantine list, but was added to Connecticut's and New Jersey's.
Then, on Wednesday, Lamont said enforcing a travel advisory with a neighboring state is impossible to enforce and he is going to work something out with Massachusetts.
“It’s absolutely impossible to enforce travel restrictions between contiguous states. People are driving across the border to get milk or something else,’ Lamont said.
Rhode Island is no longer on the state's travel advisory, according to the state's travel website. The governor's office provided additional detail Tuesday evening in a press release on Rhode Island's exclusion from the list.
"New Jersey and Rhode Island meet the criteria for the travel advisory, however given the interconnected nature of the region and mode of transport between the states, they are not being included on the list of states required for a mandatory quarantine. That said, Governor Lamont highly discourages, to the extent practical, all nonessential travel to limit the spread of COVID-19," the update from the governor's office stated.
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Lamont said he’s had good conversations with Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker.
“We’re going to work out something very soon to include Massachusetts, along with our other regional states – Rhode Island, New York and New Jersey.”
The travel advisory does provide some exceptions for workers coming to the state. The advisory does not apply to individuals remaining in Connecticut for less than 24 hours. There is also an exemption for workers coming to and from Connecticut who are considered essential, including those "who work in critical infrastructure as designated by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, including students in exempt health care professions, and any state, local, and federal officials and employees," according to the state's website.
Last week, just one day after announcing plans to change the COVID-19 travel advisory criteria, Gov. Ned Lamont reversed that decision, saying instead that he has reached an agreement with New York and New Jersey to keep travel open between all three states.
Lamont said it’s a lot easier to patrol people who are not coming in by car, so he’s leaving the travel guidance in place for other states where people are more likely to come by plane.
A state with 10 cases per 100,000 people or a 10 percent positivity rate meets the standards for being on Connecticut's travel advisory list. Lamont said last Tuesday that he spoke with Gov. Cuomo in New York and Gov. Murphy in New Jersey and came to an agreement that will treat all three states as a region and allow people to travel between the states regardless of the metrics. However, the governor is also urging everyone to limit non-essential travel and stay close to home.
“What we decided to do was, for our three states – we’re almost like we’re one region -- so there’s going to be no travel advisory for as regards travel among our three states and that said, urge everybody to stay close to home as best you can," Lamont said.
Lamont previously said he also planned to reach out to Massachusetts and Rhode Island to discuss the possibilities between those states.
One day before, Lamont had said the state was considering changes to the travel advisory metrics.
Conn. Travel Advisory List as of 10/27/20
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Puerto Rico
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
Connecticut residents who are returning from one of these places after spending at least 24 hours there or people traveling to Connecticut from one of them will have to quarantine, with some exceptions, or submit a negative COVID-19 test.
There have been 45 fines given out to people not following out-of-state travel requirements, according to Chief Operating Officer Josh Geballe. Someone who travels out-of-state has to fill out a travel form, show a negative COVID-19 test or quarantine for 14 days upon arrival to Connecticut.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How is this going to be enforced? Failure to self-quarantine or to complete the Travel Health Form may result in a civil penalty of $500 for each violation.
- How are the Affected States chosen? The advisory applies to any person arriving from a state with a positive case rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents, or higher than a 10% test positivity rate over a seven day rolling average. The list of states is fluid and will be updated weekly on Tuesdays on this website.
- How are the Affected Countries chosen? This advisory applies to any person arriving from a country for which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 3 Travel Health Notice. The list of countries for which the CDC has issued a Level 3 Travel Health Notice is fluid and travelers should check such list on their date of travel.
- Who does the advisory apply to? The requirement to self-quarantine and complete the Travel Health Form is applicable to any traveler who has spent 24 hours or longer in an Affected State or an Affected Country within 14 days prior to arriving in Connecticut but does not include an individual remaining in Connecticut for less than 24 hours. These requirements are also applicable to Connecticut residents who are returning from a visit to an Affected State or an Affected Country.
- What does self-quarantine mean? Self-quarantine means to stay home or in your designated self-quarantine location, separate yourself from others, and monitor your health. You should not enter any public places, including, but not limited to, restaurants, pools, meeting rooms, or gatherings, during the mandatory period of self-quarantine. You may leave your designated self-quarantine location for medical visits, to obtain medication or to shop for groceries. A self-quarantine is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. The self-quarantine helps prevent spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if they are infected with the virus without feeling symptoms.
- If I am traveling from an Affected State or an Affected Country to Connecticut to seek or obtain medical treatment, am I required to self-quarantine when I arrive in Connecticut? Yes, you are required to self-quarantine when you arrive in Connecticut from an Affected State or an Affected Country if you were in such Affected State or such Affected Country for 24 hours or longer within 14 days prior to arriving in Connecticut. While you are required to self-quarantine, you may leave your designated self-quarantine location to go to your medical procedure or other medical appointment. When you do leave your designated self-quarantine location and when in public after your mandatory self-quarantine period, you are required to wear a face covering when in public and when a six-foot distance from others is unavoidable, unless you have a medical condition that prevents you from wearing one and you have written documentation that you are qualified for the exemption from a licensed medical provider, the Department of Developmental Services or other state agency that provides or supports services for people with emotional, intellectual or physical disabilities, or a person authorized by any such agency.
- What if I am returning to Connecticut after visiting an Affected State or an Affected Country that was not on the list of Affected States or Affected Countries when I arrived there but was added to the list during my stay? The Department of Public Health (DPH) will not pursue or levy civil penalties against an Affected Traveler who arrives in Connecticut following a stay in a state or country that was not on the list of Affected States or Affected Countries when the traveler arrived there but was added to the list during the Affected Traveler’s stay, provided the Affected Traveler returns to Connecticut not more than seven days following the date such state or country was added to the list. Although the DPH will not pursue civil penalties against such travelers, all such travelers are still strongly encouraged to make every effort to self-quarantine. In addition, such Affected Travelers are still required to complete a Travel Health Form upon arrival in Connecticut and may be subject to civil penalties by the DPH for failure to do so.
- Are there any exemptions for essential workers who have to travel for work? Yes. Workers traveling from Affected States or Affected Countries to Connecticut and from Connecticut to Affected States or Affected Countries who work in critical infrastructure as designated by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, including students in exempt health care professions, and any state, local, and federal officials and employees, are exempt from the self-quarantine requirement when such travel is work-related. Such essential workers are still required to complete the Travel Health Form.
- If I am an essential worker who visited an Affected State or an Affected Country on vacation, am I required to self-quarantine upon my return to Connecticut? Yes, essential workers who travel to Connecticut from an Affected State or an Affected Country or from Connecticut to an Affected State or an Affected Country for vacation or other non-work related reasons are required to self-quarantine and complete the Travel Health Form.
- How long is the self-quarantine? The advisory requires visitors to Connecticut from Affected States or Affected Countries to self-quarantine for a period of fourteen (14) days from the time they were last in the Affected State or the Affected Country. If you board a plane in an Affected State or an Affected Country today, and land in Connecticut today, your fourteen (14) days begins today. If you are in Connecticut for a period less than fourteen (14) days, you should plan to be in self-quarantine throughout your visit. If you left an Affected State or an Affected Country and spent time in non-Affected States or non-Affected Countries prior to arriving in Connecticut, you start counting your fourteen (14) day period from the time you left the Affected State or Affected Country. Consequently, if only five of those 14 days are spent in Connecticut, you will need to self-quarantine in Connecticut for those five days.
- If I am coming to Connecticut to a hotel or bed and breakfast, can I self-quarantine there? Yes. Travelers are required to self-quarantine at their home, or a hotel or other temporary lodging.
- Does the self-quarantine requirement also extend to passengers flying from non-Affected States or non-Affected Countries to Connecticut on flights with layovers in Affected States or Countries before arriving in Connecticut? No. The requirement to self-quarantine does not apply to travelers who have a layover in an Affected State or an Affected Country, provided the layover is for less than twenty-four (24) hours. If you spend 24 hours or longer in the Affected State or the Affected Country, you must self-quarantine when you arrive in Connecticut.
- If an Affected Traveler who is required to self-quarantine stays at my house, am I and my family, who have not been traveling, also required to self-quarantine? No, you and your family are not required to self-quarantine. However, all usual COVID-19 precautions should be undertaken.
- Can travelers be tested for COVID-19 instead of self-quarantine? Yes, an Affected Traveler is exempt from the self-quarantine requirement if the Affected Traveler (1) has had a test for COVID-19 in the seventy-two (72) hours prior to arrival in Connecticut or at any time following arrival in Connecticut, (2) the result of such COVID-19 test is negative, and (3) he or she has provided written proof of such negative test result to the Commissioner via email to: DPH.COVID-Travel@ct.gov or via facsimile to: (860) 326-0529. If a test was obtained in the seventy-two (72) hours prior to arrival in Connecticut, or following arrival in Connecticut, and such Affected Traveler has not yet received his or her test results, such traveler shall remain in self-quarantine in Connecticut until a negative test result is submitted to the Commissioner. If the test result is positive and the traveler is asymptomatic, he or she shall self-isolate for ten (10) days from the date of the test; if symptomatic, he or she should seek medical assistance. Travelers who test positive for COVID-19 prior to traveling to Connecticut should delay such travel and consult with a medical professional. All Affected Travelers are required to complete the Travel Health Form.
- What tests are acceptable for the testing option? Nucleic acid tests such as reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests are the only acceptable testing option. Neither rapid antigen tests nor antibody tests for COVID-19 satisfy the testing requirement for the testing exemption.
- If I have already tested positive for COVID-19 and have recovered, do I need to self-quarantine upon my arrival to Connecticut?A person who has tested positive for COVID-19 within ninety (90) days prior to his or her arrival in Connecticut and who has clinically recovered, or who has not been symptomatic for a period of ten (10) days since symptom onset or such positive test if not symptomatic, is not required to self-quarantine upon his or her arrival to Connecticut, provided such person submits, prior to or immediately upon arrival in Connecticut, written proof of such positive test result to the Commissioner of Public Health via email to: DPH.COVID-Travel@ct.gov or via facsimile to: (860) 326-0529. Such person is still required to complete a Travel Health Form. A person who has had a positive test result for COVID-19 more than ninety (90) days prior to arriving in Connecticut is required to self-quarantine and complete a Travel Health Form.
- I am a foreign student arriving for college/university. Do I need to self-quarantine? If you were in an Affected Country within fourteen (14) days prior to arriving in Connecticut, then you are required to self-quarantine upon your arrival to Connecticut. Affected Countries are countries for which the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 3 Travel Health Notice. You should also refer to your college or university’s requirements for returning to campus.
- If I am self-quarantining after arriving in Connecticut from an Affected State or an Affected Country, and subsequent to my arrival, such Affected State or Affected Country comes off the list, may I end my self-quarantine? No. Anyone who arrived from an Affected State or an Affected Country during the time that infections there were higher needs to complete a self-quarantine period as required by the travel advisory.
- May I complete the Travel Health Form after I have arrived in Connecticut? You are required to complete the Travel Health Form prior to or no later than upon the day of your arrival in Connecticut.
- Should non-essential travel to Affected States and Affected Countries be avoided? Yes. Because of the risk of contracting infection, and because of the need to self-quarantine on return, Connecticut residents are urged to avoid travel to the Affected States or Affected Countries whenever possible.
- If I know someone has traveled to Connecticut from an Affected State or an Affected Country and is in violation of the self-quarantine rule, how may I report this to DPH? Anyone wanting to report any violations of the self-quarantine order can either call 211 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- What information do I need to submit for a suspected violation of the self-quarantine rule? To report a suspected violation under the Connecticut Travel Advisory, send an email to email@example.com with "Travel Advisory Violation of Self-Quarantine" in the subject line, along with the following information:
- Your relationship to the individual suspected to be in violation (i.e. family member, co-worker, neighbor, healthcare provider, etc.)
- Information regarding how you were made aware of the suspected violation
- The individual suspected to be in violation:
- First and last name
- Address (home residence)
- Phone/email (if known)
- Address (where staying in Connecticut)
- Affected State or Affected Country from which the individual traveled
- Was his or her length of stay in an Affected State or an Affected Country twenty-four (24) hours or longer? Yes or No
- Was his or her length of stay in Connecticut twenty-four (24) hours or longer? Yes or No
- Mode of entry into Connecticut (i.e. plane, car, bus, train, boat)
- Approximate date of arrival in Connecticut
- Description of suspected violation (for example, include information regarding the name and location of a public place or workplace visited - name and city)
- If I get fined, is there any way I can dispute or appeal the fine? Any person who receives a notice of civil penalty may, within ten (10) business days of the date of the notice of civil penalty, request a hearing before the Commissioner of Public Health to contest the penalty. Such hearing, if requested, will be held within thirty (30) business days of the Commissioner’s receipt of the request.
- May I be subject to legal ramifications other than civil penalties if I do not self-quarantine or complete the Travel Health Form? Yes, you may be subject to any existing penalties that apply to violations of Executive Orders, including monetary penalties and possible imprisonment. FAQ Concerning Adjacent Affected States
- If there is a state bordering Connecticut (RI/MA/NY) that appears on the list of Affected States, how does that state end up on the list? A state is placed on the list of Affected States if such state has with a positive case rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents, or higher than a 10% test positivity rate over a seven (7) day rolling average. The list of states is fluid and will be updated weekly on Tuesdays on this website.
- What does this mean for Connecticut residents who are traveling to this bordering state? Any Connecticut resident traveling to the adjacent state that is on the list of Affected States who stays there for twenty-four (24) hours or longer must self-quarantine for fourteen (14) days when he or she arrives back in Connecticut. If his or her visit to the neighboring Affected State is less than twenty-four (24) hours, the requirement to self-quarantine does not apply.
- If I am a Connecticut resident who must go to an adjacent Affected State for work, how does this impact me? Any Connecticut resident who needs to travel to an adjacent Affected State for work is not subject to the self-quarantine requirement as long as his or her time in the adjacent Affected State is less than twenty-four (24) hours. Any Connecticut resident who qualifies as an essential worker (e.g., as designated by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency) going to the bordering Affected State for work-related travel is not subject to the self-quarantine requirement. Any Connecticut resident who commutes to an adjacent Affected State and is unable to telecommute, and will only be in the Affected State for less than twenty-four (24) hours, is strongly advised to limit all other contact in that state while there. Employers in adjacent Affected States can continue to expect employees who are Connecticut residents to come to work as needed, though telework options are preferable if possible.
- If I am a Connecticut resident who must go to an adjacent Affected State for work, are there precautions I should take? Yes. It is strongly encouraged that you to telework if appropriate and allowed by your employer. Further, you should limit your activities while in that state to your workplace only and avoid other public places and events, if possible.
- Should I cancel my travel plans to an adjacent Affected State? What if I just want to go to the beach for a day and not stay overnight? Connecticut residents are strongly encouraged to avoid travel to Affected States. While traveling to the beach for less than a day in an adjacent Affected State does not trigger the self-quarantine requirement, it is recommended that you not travel to that state during any period when COVID-19 infections are high.
- What does this mean for anyone traveling from an adjacent Affected State to Connecticut? Any travelers who have spent twenty-four (24) hours or longer in an adjacent Affected State and plan on spending twenty-four (24) hours or longer in Connecticut must fill out the Travel Health Form and self-quarantine for fourteen (14) days while in Connecticut or for the duration of their stay if shorter.
- If I live in an adjacent Affected State but work in Connecticut, can I still go to work? Yes. The self-quarantine requirement does not apply to residents of adjacent Affected States who must come into Connecticut for work, so long as their stay in Connecticut is less than twenty-four (24) hours. Connecticut employers can continue to expect any employees from adjacent Affected States to come to work as needed, though telework options are preferred if possible. Any resident from an adjacent Affected State who is unable to telecommute and is spending less than twenty-four (24) hours in Connecticut is also strongly encouraged to limit all contacts while in Connecticut. Connecticut employers with employees who are residents of adjacent Affected States should make every effort to provide telework options or otherwise limit employee time in Connecticut.
- How long will this self-quarantine requirement for an adjacent state be in effect and how might it change? If COVID-19 prevalence and infection numbers improve in the adjacent Affected State and the adjacent state no longer has a positive case rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents, or higher than a 10% test positivity rate over a seven-day rolling average, that state will come off the list of Affected States and the self-quarantine requirement will no longer apply. The list of Affected States comes out once a week every Tuesday. Check www.ct.gov/coronavirus/travel for more information.