N.J. sticks with 14-day quarantine travel advisory for coronavirus hot spots despite N.Y.’s rule change

New Jersey doesn’t plan to scrap its travel advisory calling for a 14-day quarantine for those arriving from coronavirus hot spots despite the announcement over the weekend that New York was ending its list and instead will require visitors from non-neighboring states to take a COVID-19 test, Gov. Phil Murphy said Monday.

Both states, along with Connecticut, have maintained a joint travel advisory for states with high COVID-19 infection rates. But New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Saturday it was dropping its list as coronavirus numbers continue to rise across the country.

New York is now requiring travelers from all non-neighboring states to test negative no more than three days before they enter. Those who arrive without proof of a negative test won’t be stopped from entering but will be required to quarantine for 14 days.

Even those who test negative will have to quarantine for three days after they arrive and then take a second test. If that’s also negative, they can cease their quarantine.

Cuomo admitted Saturday it had become increasingly difficult to enforce the travel advisory.

“The list started small and then the list got longer and longer and longer,” he said. “At one point, it was no longer a list, it was all-inclusive. Now, you don’t have a list.”

But Murphy said Monday there are no plans to make a similar change in New Jersey.

“We’re gonna stay with the current posture that we’ve got,” the governor said during his latest online coronavirus briefing.

Murphy stressed that the advisory does not apply to people who are crossing into neighboring states like Connecticut, Delaware, New York, and Pennsylvania for work or other essential reasons.

But he emphasized that people shouldn’t travel unless it’s necessary.

“We’re just asking people if you don’t have to travel, just flat out don’t travel. Period,” he said.

Things got awkward in New Jersey last month when New Jersey met the criteria to qualify for its own advisory. The Garden State has recorded 16 straight days of more than 1,000 new cases.

While violators of New York’s advisory have faced a possible $2,000 fine, New Jersey has never established fines. Instead, Murphy and other officials have asked people to practice “personal responsibility” and follow the order.

There are currently 41 states and territories on the quarantine list. Neighboring states — New York, Pennsylvania, and Delaware — are exempt from being on the list despite meeting the criteria.

New Jersey on Monday reported 1,379 more COVID-19 cases and three additional deaths. The state’s hospitals had more than 1,000 patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases for the sixth straight day, and the statewide rate of transmission decreased slightly to 1.28, but it remains above the key mark indicating the outbreak here is growing.

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Brent Johnson may be reached at [email protected].

Matt Arco may be reached at [email protected].

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