Traveling for Thanksgiving? These states require a COVID-19 test or self-quarantine


In this Nov. 12, 2020, file photo, travelers make their way through the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport during the coronavirus pandemic. (Elizabeth Flores/Star Tribune via AP, File)

SALT LAKE CITY (NewsNation Now) — With top U.S. health officials recommending that Americans avoid travel for Thanksgiving, changes in holiday plans and traditions are expected this year.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued guidance Thursday to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 during Thanksgiving.

Americans have been warned not to spend the holiday with people from outside their household, though many are expected to still visit loved ones this Thanksgiving.

NewsNation affiliate KTVX compiled a rundown of every state that is requiring a negative COVID-19 test before entering, as well as which states are requesting or requiring visitors to self-quarantine for up to 14 days upon arrival.

This information is subject to change. When traveling, check with local officials on COVID-19 guidelines.

Alaska: All people traveling to Alaska must arrive with proof of a qualifying negative COVID-19 test. In addition to the negative test, travelers must also submit a travel declaration and a self-isolation plan.

Connecticut: People traveling to Connecticut who are coming from a state (other than New York, New Jersey, or Rhode Island) with a higher than 10% test positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average are required to self-quarantine upon arrival. Instead of quarantining, travelers may also have proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to arriving in Connecticut.

Hawaii: Hawaii changed its rules Thursday to require travelers arriving in the state to have a negative COVID-19 test result prior to their departure. The new rule goes into effect two days before Thanksgiving. Before that, anyone traveling to the islands has to quarantine for 14 days. Visitors can bypass the quarantine by using a pre-travel testing program, which allows travelers to arrive in Hawaii and then upload their negative test results to a state database. That will end when the new rules take effect Nov. 24. Visitors must also create a Safe Travels account before traveling to the state.

Illinois: While Illinois as a state does not have travel restrictions, the city of Chicago does. Those traveling from a state designated with a “Red” travel advisory (Utah, Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, or Indiana) must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival to the city — regardless of a negative COVID-19 test or not. Visitors coming from an “Orange” advisory state (all other states except for Vermont and Maine) have the option to quarantine for 14 days or have proof of a negative test result upon arrival to the city.

Kentucky: Officials in Kentucky have issued a travel advisory with the recommendation of a 14-day self-quarantine for travelers who went to any of the states reporting a positive testing rate equal to or greater than 15%.

Maine: People coming from out of state (except Vermont and New Hampshire) must have proof of a negative COVID-19 test that was taken no longer than 72 hours prior to the traveler’s arrival to Maine. A certificate of compliance form must also be completed to enter the state.

Massachusetts: People traveling to Massachusetts must complete a state travel form and either quarantine for 14 days or produce a negative COVID-19 test that has been administered up to 72 hours prior to the person’s arrival in the state.

New HampshireVisitors traveling from outside of New England are asked to self-quarantine for two weeks. If the person is asymptomatic and has a negative PCR test on or after Day 7 of quarantining, they may shorten or end their quarantine.

New JerseyWhile a COVID-19 test is not required to enter the state, New Jersey’s website says that a self-quarantine for out-of-state visitors is expected. According to the state, a “(14-day) self-quarantine is voluntary, but compliance is expected.”

New MexicoNew Mexico used to allow out-of-state visitors to show proof of a negative coronavirus test. But due to the “alarming spread of COVID-19,” New Mexico officials are asking visitors to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.

New YorkTravelers coming to New York who have been out of the state for longer than 24 hours must have a negative test within three days before their arrival. The traveler must then quarantine in New York for three days. On the fourth day, visitors must obtain an additional negative test before they can leave their quarantine.

Ohio: Those traveling to Ohio who come from a state reporting positive testing rates of 15% or higher are advised to self-quarantine for 14 days.

Oregon: While a test is not required to enter the state, a 14-day self-quarantine is included in the state’s travel advisory.

Pennsylvania: Travelers coming from another state must present a negative COVID-19 test that was taken within 72 hours of arriving to the state.

Rhode Island: People visiting Rhode Island must have proof of a negative COVID-19 test if they are coming from a state with greater than a 5% positivity rate.

VermontVermont is requiring any travelers coming to their state to quarantine for 14 days.

Washington D.C.: People traveling from states with more than 10 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people must receive a negative test 72 hours before traveling to D.C. If a visitor stays for more than three days, they are required to get another COVID-19 test. This excludes people coming from Virginia or Maryland.

Washington: The state’s governor issued a travel advisory recommending a 14-day quarantine for out-of-state travelers entering the state.

According to the CDC, the best way to minimize the spread of COVID-19 this holiday season is to celebrate virtually or only with members of your own household. The health agency says that organizers and attendees of larger events should consider the risk of the virus spread based upon the group size.

They’ve also listed steps to take if you are exposed to COVID-19 during a holiday gathering.

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