Authorities in the US state of New York have announced that entry restrictions would be eased for arrivals from other US states from Wednesday, November 4, despite an increase in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases nationwide. Those arriving in the state must quarantine for three days upon arrival, before taking a COVID-19 test. They may leave quarantine should the test come back negative. Travelers are also required to provide evidence of a negative test taken within three days prior to arrival. Previously, arrivals from most US states were required to quarantine for 14 days, regardless of test results. Officials stated that restrictions would not apply to residents of "contiguous" states, naming Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey as examples. It remains unclear whether residents of Vermont and Massachusetts will be exempt. New Yorkers that leave the state for less than 24 hours as well as those deemed essential workers, such as nurses or grocery store workers, will also be exempt, although New Yorkers must take a test four days after their return.
On October 19, US officials, in agreement with their Canadian and Mexican counterparts, extended the closure of the land border with these two countries until at least November 21. All nonessential travel, including recreation and tourism, will be prohibited; however, freight and medical transport are exempt from the ban. The restrictions do not cover travel by air or essential business travel.
Authorities have prohibited those from certain countries deemed high-risk from traveling to the US. There are some exemptions to these measures, such as business travelers, investors, academics, and journalists from the Schengen Area, the UK, and Ireland. Details on countries from which travel is prohibited and further details on exceptions to restrictions can be found here.
As of Saturday, October 31, there have been 512,223 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New York with 33,152 associated fatalities. There have been 9,098,300 cases reported throughout the US, with 230,320 deaths. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected in the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell, or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.
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