Updated December 1, 2020.
At the time of the last update the same 14 states which have had lingering statewide quarantine or testing restrictions for the last several months continue to do so. These states are: Alaska, Connecticut, Hawaii, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont. Chicago and Washington, DC have citywide restrictions, as do several selected counties.
The ever-changing nature of quarantine and testing requirements for corporate travelers within the United States has prompted us to put together an overview of the individual regulations of each State. Some are quite restrictive and focused on travelers from particular States, while others encompass all travelers. A third type has no restrictions at all, which of course are the easiest for travelers to navigate.
Increasing Case Rates
In the last month several cities and states have experienced increasing numbers of cases. (Note: Testing is at an all-time high and many tests that are listed as positive are followed by a negative test when rechecked.) In reaction, governors and mayors have added restrictions, mostly to restaurant and bar capacity and closing times. While residents and at-risk populations have been asked to limit trips away from the home, inbound travelers have escaped further restrictions. To see a State-by-State listing of mask mandates and business restrictions, click here.
Negative COVID-19 Tests
Many of the quarantine rules can be avoided if a traveler can present a recent negative COVID-19 test result. And in some States, you are exempt if you are simply passing through and not remaining in the State for more than 24 hours.
Following is a list of the rules in all fifty States…
There are no quarantine or testing requirements in Alabama.
All visitors entering Alaska must complete a traveler declaration form, and either arrive with proof of a negative COVID-19 test, take a test upon arrival, or adhere to the work plan that their employer filed with the State of Alaska..
Restrictions vary based on testing date in relation to travel dates. If the traveler was tested within 72 hours of their arrival into Alaska, they may enter with proof of negative results. If the test was less recently than 72 hours, they will need to take another test upon arrival. If the test was taken between 72 hours and five days from the arrival, and the traveler has not yet received their results, they will need to self-quarantine until they do.
The state requests a second test be done seven to 14 days after arriving in Alaska.
Visitors arriving without a previously taken test can get one for $250, and must quarantine while awaiting results at their own cost. Testing is free for Alaska residents, who also have the option of a two-week quarantine instead of a test.
There are no quarantine or testing requirements in Arizona.
There are no quarantine or testing requirements in Arkansas.
There are no quarantine or testing requirements in California.
There are no quarantine or testing requirements in Colorado.
Customers traveling to Connecticut from all U.S. states and territories, except for New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Hawaii and the U.S. Virgin Islands, are subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine in a home or hotel room. Travelers may be able to shorten or bypass quarantine by providing a negative COVID-19 PCR test result to Connecticut’s Commissioner of Public Health. The list of impacted states is updated on a weekly basis every Tuesday. All interstate travelers must also complete an online Travel Health Form.
There were no quarantine or testing requirements in Delaware.
District of Columbia
The nation’s capital requires persons who’ve participated in non-essential travel to or from designated high-risk states to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. Last updated on October 5, the list of impacted states includes Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
There are no quarantine or testing requirements in Florida. County and city restrictions may be in place.
There are no quarantine or testing requirements in Georgia.
Hawaii enables interstate visitors to bypass the 14-day quarantine by providing proof of a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of their arrival.
But, note that the rules are very specific: the Aloha State is only accepting results of a Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT) performed by one of the trusted testing partners approved by the Hawaii Department of Health. Visitors must upload test results to the state’s online Safe Travels form and complete a health questionnaire within 24 hours of departure.
Update: Effective Dec. 2, Kauai has won approval from the Hawaii government to suspend its participation in the state’s coronavirus pretravel testing program, meaning nearly everyone arriving in the Garden Isle must self-quarantine for 14 days.
In addition to the statewide pre-travel testing measure, the Big Island is also requiring a second rapid test to be taken by all passengers (ages five and over) upon arrival at the airport. Maui and Kauai are also offering optional secondary testing for visitors. To check the latest news on their testing program, click here.
As of Aug. 11, there were no quarantine and testing requirements in Idaho. County restrictions may be in place: For instance, travelers to Boise and other cities in Ada County are encouraged to self-quarantine for 14 days.
There are no statewide quarantine and testing requirements, but those entering or returning to the city of Chicago are subject to a color-coded quarantine list. States are categorized as either Red, Orange or Yellow, based upon their epidemiological conditions in relation to Chicago’s. Those coming from Yellow states do not need to quarantine or provide pre-arrival test results. Those coming from Orange states must either obtain a negative COVID-19 test result no more than 72 hours prior to arrival in Chicago or quarantine for 14 days, and those from Red states must strictly quarantine for 14 days upon arrival—no testing option available. The list will be updated every Tuesday and go into effect the following Friday at 12:01 a.m.
There are no quarantine or testing requirements in Indiana.
There are no quarantine or testing requirements in Iowa.
Kansas has placed restrictions only on very specific sets of travelers. Returning residents and visitors who attended an out-of-state event or mass gathering of 500 or more people, at which individuals did not socially distance and wear masks are required to quarantine for 14 days; as is anyone who has been on a cruise ship or river cruise since March.
Update: Also on the quarantine list are visitors who have traveled to or from North Dakota on or after October 21, visitors who have traveled to or from South Dakota on or after November 4, and visitors who have traveled to or from the countries of Belgium, Czechia or Andorra on or after October 21.
Kentucky is recommending that travelers coming from states with a positive testing rate of 15 percent or higher self-quarantine for 14 days, but the practice is not mandated.
There are no quarantine or testing requirements in Louisiana.
Maine will now allow adults who receive a negative COVID-19 test from a specimen taken no longer than 72 hours before arrival to forgo the 14-day quarantine. Travelers from Vermont and New Hampshire are exempted from both quarantine and testing requirements.
Update: Previous exemptions allowed for residents of Connecticut, New York and New Jersey ended on November 4, and the exemption for Massachusetts ended November 16.
There are no quarantine or testing requirements in Maryland.
All visitors must provide negative results of a COVID-19 test taken up to 72-hours prior to arrival or self-quarantine for 14 days. Travelers coming from lower-risk states, as designated by the Department of Public Health, are exempt. Lower-risk states are defined as those with average daily cases below ten in 100,000 residents and positive test rates of under-five percent, based on a rolling seven-day average. As of November 11, the only listed lower-risk states are Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. Failure to comply with these orders may result in a $500 fine.
There are no quarantine or testing requirements in Michigan.
There are no quarantine or testing requirements in Minnesota.
There are no quarantine or testing requirements in Mississippi.
There are no quarantine or testing requirements in Missouri.
There are no quarantine or testing requirements in Montana.
There are no quarantine or testing requirements in Nebraska.
There are no quarantine or testing requirements in Nevada.
Travelers arriving in New Hampshire are asked to self-quarantine for 14 days, unless they are from surrounding New England states—Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island. Travelers that will be staying at a hotel during their stay must bring signed paperwork stating that they self-isolated at home for 14 days prior to travel.
The governors of New Jersey, New York and Connecticut continue their joint incoming travel restrictions on visitors from states with significant COVID-19 spread, and visitors or returning residents coming from the impacted states must quarantine for 14 days. Impacted states are defined as those with 1) an average daily new case rate of higher than 10 in every 100,000 residents or 2) a 10 percent or higher positivity rate, both measured over a rolling seven-day period. The list of affected states is updated online regularly, but, as of October 13, included 42 U.S. states and jurisdictions. Those coming from affected areas are also asked to complete a voluntary online survey to provide information about where they’re traveling from and their destination.
New Mexico is requiring travelers from states considered high-risk, based on COVID-positivity rates, to self-quarantine for 14 days following their arrival or the duration of their stay, whichever is shorter. The list of high-risk and exempted low-risk states is updated every Wednesday. Currently, Vermont is the only U.S. state or jurisdiction that New Mexico considers to be low-risk.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that anyone traveling to New York from out of state must show proof of a negative test taken within three days of arrival, quarantine for three more days and get a new COVID-19 test on the fourth day.
Anyone who declines to be tested must quarantine for 14 days, but those who commute to New York between bordering states are not required to be tested each trip.
Note: New York will require bars, restaurants and gyms to close nightly at 10 p.m. ET and will limit private gatherings to 10 people, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday, Nov. 11.
*For a full list of mandates, requirements and information, click here.
There are no quarantine or testing requirements in North Carolina.
There are no quarantine or testing requirements in North Dakota.
Travelers entering Ohio from states reporting positive testing rates of 15 percent or higher based on a seven-day rolling average are advised to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.
*For a full list of mandates, requirements and information, click here.
There are no quarantine or testing requirements in Oklahoma.
There are no quarantine or testing requirements in Oregon.
Pennsylvania recommends that anyone visiting or returning from areas with high incidences of COVID-19 quarantine for 14 days upon entering the state. As of December 1, 40 states were on the list. For a full list of mandates, requirements and information, check out the state’s official website.
Rhode Island is requiring travelers from states and jurisdictions with positivity rates of higher than five percent to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. Travelers can bypass quarantine by providing their negative results of COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of arrival, or may test after entering the state and remain quarantined pending their results. As of December 1, the regularly updated list was up to 36 impacted states and jurisdictions. To see the list, click here.
Out-of-state visitors must also complete a Certificate of Compliance, attesting to their fulfillment of quarantine/testing requirements, which they’ll need to provide to their hotel or rented accommodations upon check-in, as well as an Out-of-State Travel Screening Form with their contact information and intended itinerary.
There are no quarantine or testing requirements in South Carolina.
There are no quarantine or testing requirements in South Dakota.
There are no quarantine or testing requirements in Tennessee.
There are no quarantine or testing requirements in Texas.
There are no quarantine or testing requirements in Utah.
Update: Vermont has changed its policy so that now anyone entering Vermont from out of state must complete either a 14-day quarantine, or a seven-day quarantine followed by a negative test.
People may self-quarantine out of state before traveling to Vermont as long as their trip is in a private vehicle and they make only necessary stops, while wearing a face mask, social distancing and washing their hands frequently.
There are no quarantine or testing requirements in Virginia.
There are no quarantine or testing requirements in Washington.
There are no quarantine or testing requirements in West Virginia.
There are no statewide quarantine or testing requirements. Local quarantine restrictions may be in place at the county level.
There are no quarantine or testing requirements in Wyoming.
Essential Workers Status
Many states also have exemptions for essential workers, including health care workers, members of the military and a large number of professions in other key industries. (The list of eligible professions is quite large.) Twenty States utilize the Federal guidelines on which workers are considered essential. Twenty-two other States have created their own guidelines.
To view an interactive map of the various Essential Worker laws within the US, click here.
To view a PDF of the Federal guidelines click this link, Federal EssentialWorkerGuidelines.
Essential Worker Letter
If your employee meets these requirements and you would like to assert these rights you will need to provide them with an Essential Worker Letter. To download a copy of a sample letter, click this link… EssentialEmployeeSampleLetter.