New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday said he was eliminating the state’s mandatory quarantine for domestic travelers starting next month, moving one step further from the pandemic-era practices that defined 2020.
The new policy, which will go into effect on April 1, will exempt travelers entering New York from another U.S. state or territory from having to self-isolate, according to Cuomo’s office. International travelers, however, will still be required to abide by old travel measures by getting a test within three days of leaving for New York, quarantining for three days, and getting tested again on the fourth day.
While travelers will no longer have to quarantine, it is still recommended. All travelers will also have to fill out the state’s Traveler Health Form and continue to adhere to New York’s COVID-19-related protocols, like mask-wearing.
Cuomo called the decision “great news,” but added it was “not an all-clear for New Yorkers to let their guard down.”
“New Yorkers have shown strength and perseverance throughout this entire pandemic, and it shows through the numbers that continue to decrease every day,” Cuomo said in a statement. “As we work to build our vaccination infrastructure even further and get more shots in arms, we’re making significant progress in winning the footrace between the infection rate and the vaccination rate, allowing us to open new sectors of our economy and start our transition to a new normal in a post-pandemic world.”
The move comes only one week after Cuomo allowed vaccinated domestic travelers to skip the state’s self-isolation protocols, which was in line with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation that fully vaccinated Americans who are exposed to COVID-19 do not need to quarantine.
New York has been opening up more and more industries that were closed due to the pandemic, including expanding indoor dining capacity, allowing entertainment venues to reopen, and allowing arenas, stadiums, and large music venues to once again welcome guests.