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Updated Guidance on NY’s Travel Restrictions

On October 31, Governor Andrew Cuomo issued Executive Order 205.2, which revised the New York (NY) State Travel Advisory. On November 3, the New York State Department of Health issued an updated guidance document

One key takeaway is that travelers who travel to a non-bordering state may complete a 14-day quarantine or test out of the 14-day quarantine by following the state’s requirements for testing. For any traveler to NY from a non-border state, US territory or CDC Level 2 or Level 3 Health Notice country, the new guidelines for travelers to test-out of the mandatory 14-day quarantine are below: 

For travelers who were out-of-state for more than 24 hours

  • Travelers must obtain a test within three days of departure, prior to arrival in NY. 
  • The traveler must, upon arrival in NY, quarantine for three days. 
  • On day four of their quarantine, the traveler must obtain another COVID test. If both tests come back negative, the traveler may exit quarantine upon receipt of the second negative test. 

For travelers who were out-of-state for less than 24 hours

  • The traveler does not need a test prior to their departure from the other state and does not need to quarantine upon arrival in NY. 
  • However, the traveler must fill out the traveler form* upon entry into NY and take a COVID test four days after their arrival in NY. 

Exceptions to the travel advisory are permitted for essential workers and are limited based on the duration of time in designated states, as well as the intended duration of time in New York. 

*In addition, all individuals coming into NY from either a non-border state or US territory, or any CDC Level 2 or Level 3 Health Notice country, regardless of the person being a NY resident, are required to complete the traveler health form upon entering NY. 

Next Steps for Employers 

In previous guidance, it was made clear that FFCRA leave would be applicable to the 14-day quarantine for an employee who can’t work because they are subject to the NY Travel Advisory as it would be considered a government “order” of quarantine (See FFCRA FAQ Question 87). However, with the updates to the travel restrictions, it is unclear if an employee who decides not to test out or who may have difficulties in obtaining access to the tests needed to test out would continue to be eligible for FFCRA beyond the first four days. As a result, it is recommended that employers with employees who opt not to test out or who report issues with being unable to test out consult with legal counsel before denying FFCRA leave. 

HR Works, headquartered in Upstate New York, is a human resource management outsourcing and consulting firm serving clients throughout the United States for over thirty years. HR Works provides scalable strategic human resource management and consulting services, including: affirmative action programs; benefits administration outsourcing; HRIS self-service technology; full-time, part-time and interim on-site HR managers; HR audits; legally reviewed employee handbooks and supervisor manuals; talent management and recruiting services; and training of managers and HR professionals.