HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - The U.S. Virgin Islands were added to Connecticut's travel advisory list on Tuesday.
No states or territories were removed.
The governor's office continues to say that New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island meet the criteria for the travel advisory, but due to the interconnected nature of the region, they are not being included on the list.
At this time, Gov. Ned Lamont said he highly discourages all nonessential travel to New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island.
Over the summer, Connecticut joined New York and New Jersey to implement a regional travel advisory, which would limit people traveling into those three states from other areas that have a high spread of COVID-19.
Folks traveling into CT, NY, or NJ from any of the states on the list must quarantine for 14 days.
As of Nov. 17, the following locations were listed in the state's travel advisory:
- New Hampshire
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Puerto Rico
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- U.S. Virgin Islands.
- West Virginia
A constantly updated list can be found on the state's website here.
WEEKLY CONNECTICUT TRAVEL ADVISORY UPDATE:➡️Added to impacted locations: Vermont➡️No states/territories removed this weekIf you're entering Connecticut from these locations, you need to quarantine 14 days. See full list ⬇️ https://t.co/gZjVfum7Wt— Governor Ned Lamont (@GovNedLamont) November 17, 2020
Per Gov. Ned Lamont's executive order, state, federal and local lawmakers and officials coming out of Washington D.C. are exempt from the travel advisory, as long as their travel is considered government business.
Earlier in the summer, the governor also announced that travelers are now required to fill out an online form so the state can track where they are going to quarantine.
A fine of $1,000 may also be issued to those who violate the quarantine. People traveling to New York from listed states already face a fine of $2,000 if they don't comply.
As of Sept. 15, Lamont said Connecticut will allow travelers coming from states with high infection rates to skip the 14-day quarantine, but only if they have a negative COVID test within three days of arriving in the state.
The travel advisory applies to any person arriving from a state with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents or a state with a 5 percent or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average.
Dr. Deidre Gifford, acting commissioner of the Department of Public Health, said Connecticut will update the list of states, depending on COVID-19 case reports. If a state sees infection rates decline, it could be removed from the advisory.
Connecticut continues to have one of the lowest coronavirus rates in the nation.
“Working together as a region has proven to be immensely successful as our respective states are leading the country when it comes to our response with low infection and positivity rates relative to increased testing capacity,” Lamont said. “We have made difficult decisions throughout this pandemic, but we have proven to make many of the right decisions. This step to inform travelers form states with hot spots to self-isolate is meant to protect our residents and maintain our incredible public health progress.”
The state released a list of frequently-asked travel advisory questions along with their answers:
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 $1,000 for each violation.
- How are the impacted states chosen? The advisory applies to any person arriving from a state with a positive test 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.
- 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 twenty-four (24) hours or longer in an affected state within fourteen (14) days prior to arriving in Connecticut but does not include an individual remaining in Connecticut for less than twenty-four (24) hours. These requirements are also applicable to Connecticut residents who are returning from a visit to an affected state.
- 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 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 if you were in such affected state for twenty-four (24) hours or longer within fourteen (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 a state that was not on the list of affected states when I arrived, but was added to the list of affected states during my stay? While Executive Order 7III and the Commissioner of Public Health’s Travel Advisory require an affected traveler to self-quarantine upon arrival in Connecticut, the Department of Public Health will not pursue or levy civil penalties against an affected traveler who arrives in Connecticut following a stay in a state that was not on the list of affected states when the traveler arrived (including instances in which the traveler arrived in a state prior to the effective date of Executive Order 7III) but became an affected state during the affected traveler’s stay, provided the affected traveler returns to Connecticut not more than seven days following the date such state was added to the list of affected states. Although the Department of Public Health 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 Department of Public Health for failure to do so.
- Are there any exemptions for essential workers who have to travel for work? Yes. Workers traveling from affected states to Connecticut and from Connecticut to affected states 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 required to complete the Travel Health Form.
- If I am a Connecticut essential worker and must travel to an affected state for a funeral of a family member or to have an end of life visit with a loved one, am I required to self-quarantine upon my return to Connecticut? A Connecticut essential worker who travels to an affected state for certain reasons and satisfies the testing alternative is exempt from the self-quarantine requirement, but only for purposes of going to work, and shall self-quarantine for any portion of the fourteen (14) day self-quarantine period that he or she is not working. The permitted reasons are: travel to Connecticut to drop-off a child at school, to attend to a family member or a loved one whose physical or mental health or well-being is at risk, to attend to a family member or loved one’s medical procedure, or to assist with end of life care, to have an end of life visit, or to attend the funeral of a family member or loved one. The testing alternative requires that the essential worker (1) have had a negative test result for COVID-19 in the seventy-two (72) hours prior to arriving in Connecticut and (2) have provided written proof of such test result to the Commissioner of Public Health 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 travel but the result is still pending at the time of arrival in Connecticut, such essential worker shall remain in self-quarantine in Connecticut until the test result is received and, if such test result is negative, the result is submitted to the Commissioner. If the test result is positive and the essential worker 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. The essential worker is required to complete the Travel Health Form.
- If I am an essential worker who visited an affected state 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 from Connecticut to an affected state for vacation 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 to self-quarantine for a period of fourteen (14) days from the time they were last in the affected state. If you board a plane in an affected state 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 and spent time in non-affected states prior to arriving in Connecticut, you start counting your fourteen (14) day period from the time you left the affected state and if only five (5) of those fourteen (14) days are spent in Connecticut, you will need to self-quarantine in Connecticut for those five (5) days.
For more answers to other FAQs, click here.