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New York Travel and COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic is not new. The effects of the unknown and debilitating disease still grip the world and the United States. In many areas of the country, people are returning to some form of normalcy or pre-COVID life, but there are still restrictions and health/safety guidelines to be followed.

The most prominent restrictions or regulations have to do with travel. While some counties and states relax restrictions for locals, there are still restrictions for visitors and travelers. This is especially true in New York City.

New York is one of the largest travel hubs in the world. State health and government officials have to balance the attraction of their city with the health and safety of everyone. This leads to ever-changing travel restrictions. The fluid nature of the pandemic can make it difficult to make any sort of travel plans, even things like travel car insurance can become an exercise in guesswork.

COVID-19 Overview and Pandemic Timeline

After more than a year of COVID-19 and the worldwide pandemic, it can get difficult to remember how it all started. Mask mandates, social distancing, and limited gatherings seem to be more normal. The truth is, however, this all started on December 31, 2019. China saw the first cases of an unknown disease, and word began to spread.

On January 11, 2020, China reported its first death related to COVID-19. Just a few days later, on January 20, the first cases were confirmed in the U.S. and other countries. Twelve days later, Wuhan, China was isolated as cases continued to rise. On January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization declared a global health emergency and the following day travel was restricted from China.

In February, the U.S. recorded its first COVID-19 death. In March the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention introduced restrictions to slow the spread, beginning with limits on in-person gatherings.

In March, the European Union stopped travel from the rest of the world, and India announced a temporary lockdown. Both measures were instituted in hopes of controlling the spread. At the same time, the U.S. saw schools across the country close their buildings for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.

April 30, 2020 was the first day that airlines began requiring face masks for air travel. The mask mandate would soon flow into everyday life in the U.S. and many other countries. The restrictions and closures or cancellations continued to develop throughout the year with COVID-19, but they varied based on area.

COVID Travel Restrictions Around the World

The COVID-19 pandemic brought with it many travel restrictions. In the earliest days of the pandemic, countries sealed their borders to contain any current cases and hopefully stop any additional cases from entering the country. Air travel was severely limited or stopped altogether. On a local or countrywide basis, areas instituted lockdowns or quarantines to stop or slow the spread internally.

As the virus spread and the pandemic developed, federal and global health organizations recommended the use of social distancing and mask mandates. These recommendations were embraced countrywide and allowed for limited air travel domestically and internationally.

Currently, airlines are operating globally and few, if any, restrictions still remain. Masks are still required and the newly developed COVID-19 vaccine is strongly recommended before traveling.

New York COVID Travel Restrictions

The state of New York has some of the most intensive travel restrictions and recommendations because of the large number of travelers they receive. This means the state continually reevaluates its restrictions and recommendations for travel as the fight against COVID-19 changes and evolves.

Currently, New York and the CDC strongly recommend that anyone looking to travel internationally delay their trip until that traveler has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. All travelers are required to complete the New York State travel form, which discloses any symptoms or contact with individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19.

This requirement is lifted if someone is traveling to or from a contiguous state like Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont.

International travelers have a different set of recommendations and requirements. All international travelers must comply with all current CDC requirements, which include proof of a negative test or recent COVID recovery before boarding a plane for the U.S.

New York has not implemented its own restrictions but does follow all CDC recommendations for international travel except for unvaccinated health care personnel, fully vaccinated individuals, and all unvaccinated international travelers who have not recovered from COVID-19 in the past three months. These individuals should get tested three to five days after arriving in New York.

New York Quarantine and Lockdown Restrictions

New York is in the midst of a phased reopening. It is opening up regionally based on a predetermined set of criteria. Therefore, lockdown restrictions or regulations can and will vary based on the area.

The state of New York does, however, still maintain blanket restrictions. These restrictions include a mask mandate for all public spaces, the 6-feet social distancing requirement, and restrictions on public gatherings.

Public gatherings in New York cannot exceed 10 people. Larger gatherings will be permitted in later phases of the reopening.

There are currently no quarantine requirements for the state of New York unless an individual chooses to self-isolate or has tested positive for and exhibits symptoms of COVID-19.

As with most aspects of the pandemic, the reopening of New York and its various restrictions are ever-changing. Be sure to keep up to date on New York’s fight against COVID-19.

Car Insurance and COVID-19

The risk of contracting COVID-19 does not disappear once an individual lands in New York. There is still the possibility that an individual will contract the virus. There are ways to mitigate that risk, however.

One possibility is to limit contact with others on public transportation. The main way to do this is to drive your own car.

Driving outside your home state can, however, cause concerns about insurance. The good news is that many auto insurance providers offer auto travel insurance to protect your car while traveling.

Before you take your next trip to New York, revisit all CDC and state recommendations for health and check with your insurance provider about travel auto insurance.

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