New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo, signed Executive Order 205.2 last October 31, 2020. This order introduces new travel guidelines, enhancing the quarantine restrictions for out-of-state travelers and providing covered individuals the choice to “test out” of the duty to quarantine.
As of the first week of November, travelers must do self-quarantine for 14 days or participate in the testing protocol stated in the Executive Order. These will be applied to all travelers coming from any state other than those adjacent with the city.
If you’re an employer with employees living in New York, you need to revise their COVID-19 response practices and policies in light of these travel restriction updates, including the Families First Response Act rules concerning eligibility for leave.
The New York State Department of Health has kept a constantly growing list of states experiencing COVID-19 spread throughout their communities over the past several months.
According to Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order 205 last June 24, 2020, the states that have a positive COVID-19 test rate greater than 10 per 100,000 people, or more than 10% positive rate, were added to the restricted state list. And if you’re a traveler that came or arrived to one of these restricted states, you need to do self-quarantine for 14 days.
As of last month, 45 territories and states, met the requirements stated in Executive Order 205. These states include those that share borders with the city and from which people regularly travel into the state.
The difference between Executive Order 205 and Executive Order 205.2 is that the latter focuses on travelers arriving from any non-contiguous state rather than keeping a running list of states experiencing community spread. These travelers will be required to either follow the new testing protocol or quarantine themselves for 2 weeks.
Travelers in another non-bordering state for more than a day should:
Travelers in another non-bordering state for less than a day:
- Be tested within 3 days of departure
- Quarantine for 3 days after arriving in New York
- Obtain a new COVID-19 test on the 4th day of quarantine
- Discontinue the quarantine if both tests are negative
- Are not required to undergo COVID-19 test protocols before their departure and don’t have to do a 14-day quarantine when they arrive in New York.
- They only need to fill out the Traveler Health From when entering the city and take a COVID-19 test 4 days after their arrival.
Those who leave the airport without filling up the form must pay a $2,000 fine, may be brought to hearing, and are ordered to complete mandatory quarantine. People coming to New York through cars and trains, should also complete the Traveler Health Form online.
Any traveler entering New York from a country recognized as COVID-19 Level 2 or Level 3 by the CDC should also quarantine themselves for 2 weeks. 31 countries are already included on these levels.
Employees are exempted from the new requirements. However, these exemptions depend upon the intended duration of time in the city and the time spent in non-contiguous states.
Paid Sick Leave Ineligibility
Employees who engage in personal travel to Level 2, Level 3, or other high-risk countries were ineligible for paid benefits under the COVID-19 paid leave law. This rule is also applied to employees returning from personal travel to a non-contiguous state.