Travelers entering Connecticut from states experiencing a surge in coranavirus cases are now required to self-quarantine for 14 days.

Gov. Ned Lamont issued an advisory notice June 24 with the governors of New York and New Jersey.

The number of new coronavirus cases surged in many parts of the country in the last two weeks.

The notice takes effect in all three states at 11:59 pm on June 24. Lamont later signed an executive order authorizing the Department of Public Health to develop guidelines for essential workers.

Visitors and residents returning from states with positive test rates greater than 10 per 100,000 or with a positivity rate of 10% or higher over a seven-day rolling average are required to self-quarantine.

As of June 26, eight states—Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah—had positivity rates above that threshold.

Following the announcement, Lamont also suggested self-quarantine would only be required "if you haven't had a test within 72 hours" of arrival in Connecticut.

Exemptions, Enforcement

Workers traveling from impacted states to Connecticut who work in critical infrastructure as designated by the federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency are exempted from the quarantine advisory.

State, local, and federal officials and employees traveling in their official capacities on government business are also exempt.

While Connecticut's self-quarantine notice is voluntary, Lamont said he will consider enforcement measures if visitors and returning residents fail to comply.

"The Northeast region has taken this seriously, but we're not an island," he said in a joint telephone call with Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York and Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey.

"We reluctantly came to the conclusion that this is what we've got to do to make sure that our region stays safe and our states stay safe."

In New York, violators face fines of $2,000 for a first offense and $5,000 for a second offense, with penalties climbing to $10,000 for those who "cause harm."

Connecticut's health department had issued guidance June 11 that it no longer recommended self-quarantine for domestic travelers entering or returning to the state.

Surging Cases

Hospitalizations in Connecticut have fallen dramatically from a peak of nearly 2,000 in mid-April to less than 140 this week.

Cases and hospitalizations are also trending down in New York and New Jersey.

However, the virus has surged in other states, with Arizona, California, Florida, and Texas all setting records for new cases June 23.

Nearly 20,000 Florida residents tested positive from June 19 to June 23. Connecticut had 459 new cases over the same period and New York had 3,200.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis issued an executive order March 24 requiring travelers from Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York to self-isolate for 14 days after arriving in that state.

That order was extended June 3, with exemptions for those "involved in
commercial activity and students traveling for the purpose of academic work, internships, sports training, and any other activity or program approved by the educational institution."

Filed Under: Connecticut Economy, COVID-19

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