If you’re traveling anytime soon, you probably have questions about Connecticut’s COVID-19 testing and quarantine protocols, what states they apply to, recent changes made in conjunction with New York and New Jersey, and more. Here’s where things stand right now.
What are the current rules?
Any traveler to Connecticut from a location on the state’s travel advisory list must self-quarantine for 14 days from the time of last contact within the identified state or country — or have a negative test for COVID-19.
To be exempt from the self-quarantine, a traveler must have had a negative test for COVID-19 in the 72 hours prior to arriving in Connecticut or at any time following arrival in the state.
Upon arrival, all travelers from states and territories on the state’s advisory must fill out a Travel Health Form and self-quarantine for 14 days or produce a negative COVID-19 test; failure to do so can lead to a $500 civil penalty. As of Oct. 1, Connecticut had issued 42 fines for COVID-19 travel advisory violations, totaling $44,800.
Who does this apply to?
Although changes have been proposed in recent weeks, Gov. Lamont’s guidelines remain in place for anyone traveling to Connecticut who has spent 24 hours or longer (within 14 days prior to arrival) in a location on the travel advisory list. (If you aren’t staying in Connecticut for more than 23 hours, you are off the hook.)
You do not have to self-quarantine if you tested negative for COVID-19. However, you have to self-quarantine until you get your negative test results, and also submit written proof of your negative test result to the Commissioner of Public Health at [email protected] The only tests that are acceptable are nucleic acid tests — not rapid antigen tests nor antibody tests.
If you tested positive for COVID-19 within 90 days of arriving in Connecticut and have been asymptomatic for 10 days, you don’t have to self-quarantine, as long as you submit your test results in writing to the Commissioner of Public Health at [email protected] when you get here. (You still have to fill out a travel health form.)
What locations are currently on Connecticut’s travel advisory list?
A lot. The list is updated every Tuesday or sooner if the need arises. Right now, there are 40 states and territories on Connecticut’s travel advisory list, including Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
New York and New Jersey will not be added to the list, though officials have discouraged non-essential travel between states. Gov. Lamont said he’d like to enter into a similar agreement with Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
Let’s say you’re flying from California to Connecticut, with a short stopover in Chicago: you don’t have to self-quarantine when you get here (unless you got stuck in Chicago for 24 hours or longer).
The advisory also applies to countries where the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 3 COVID-19 Travel Health Notice. That list covers 200 countries spanning all of Europe, North and South America, Africa and Australia and most Asian countries — basically everywhere.
What does a 14 day ‘self-quarantine’ mean?
Travelers who aren’t exempt from self-quarantine guidelines must remain in a designated location, stay away from other people and monitor their health, avoiding public places like restaurants, malls or gatherings (although you can leave for medical appointments or to buy medicine or groceries).
The first day of self-quarantine is the day you arrive in Connecticut. If you aren’t staying longer than 14 days, your entire time in Connecticut will be spent in self-quarantine. If you are staying in a hotel, inn or bed and breakfast, that’s where you’ll self-quarantine.
How do I get tested?
If you live in Connecticut, contact your primary care provider, or else call 2-1-1 or visit the state’s online testing locator. Once you get your results, email written proof to the Commissioner of Public Health at [email protected]
COVID-19 testing at Bradley International Airport is available seven days a week between 11:30 a.m. and midnight or depending on airline scheduling, though you should expect to wait 72 hours or longer for the results. Passengers must present proof of insurance or prepare to pay $125 for each test (credit cards accepted).
Michael Hamad can be reached at [email protected]
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