The governor's office says they have fined five more Connecticut residents accused of violating the state's COVID-19 travel restrictions.
Failure to adhere to the guidelines, which require anyone traveling to Connecticut from the state's designated coronavirus hotspots to fill out a health questionnaire and quarantine for 14 days, is punishable by a $1,000 fine. Travelers may provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test to be exempted from the quarantine period, and there are some exceptions to the requirement - see the frequently asked questions below.
So far, seven Connecticut residents have been fined, the governor's office confirmed Wednesday night. The governor announced the first two on Monday.
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“The travel advisory and the associated penalties are serious. Gov. Ned Lamont is taking every step within his power to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, and the travel advisory fines are a critical part of keeping as many Connecticut residents safe as possible," Max Reiss, a spokesperson for the governor, said Wednesday.
The five new cases involve four Stamford residents returning from North Carolina and an Old Lyme resident returning from Texas. The governor's office said they were each fined $1,000 for failing to complete the travel advisory form. Their names were not released.
Lamont, as well as the governors of New York and New Jersey, enacted a quarantine order for travelers at the end of June to help keep infection rates low in the region. See the full list of restricted locations below.
This is the current list:
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Puerto Rico
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- Virgin Islands
- Washington (Metrics for Washington are currently under review, status may change)
There currently are no state restrictions on international travel, the federal government continues to provide international travel recommendations for anyone living inside of the United States. For guidance on international travel, visit the "COVID-19 Travel Recommendations" section of the CDC's website.
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Frequently Asked Questions about Connecticut's Travel Policies (As of Aug. 4)
- How is this going to be enforced? Failure to self-quarantine or to complete the Travel Health Form may result in a civil penalty of $1,000 for each violation.
- How are the affected states chosen? The advisory applies to any person arriving from a state with a daily positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents over a seven-day rolling average or a state with a 10 percent or higher test positivity rate for COVID-19 tests over a 7-day rolling average. The list of states is fluid and will be updated weekly on this website.
- Who does the advisory apply to? The requirement to self-quarantine and complete the Travel Health Form is applicable to any traveler who has spent 24 hours or longer in an affected state within 14 days prior to arriving in Connecticut but does not include an individual remaining in Connecticut for less than 24 hours. These requirements are also applicable to Connecticut residents who are returning from a visit to an affected state.
- What does self-quarantine mean? Self-quarantine means to stay home or in your designated self-quarantine location, separate yourself from others, and monitoring your health. You should not enter any public places, including, but not limited to, restaurants, pools, meeting rooms, or gatherings, during the mandatory period of self-quarantine. You can go for a walk if not around other people. A self-quarantine is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. The self-quarantine helps prevent spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if they are infected with the virus without feeling symptoms.
- If I am traveling from an affected state to Connecticut to seek or obtain medical treatment, am I required to self-quarantine when I arrive in Connecticut? Yes, you are required to self-quarantine when you arrive in Connecticut from an affected state if you were in such affected state for 24 hours or longer within 14 days prior to arriving in Connecticut. While you are required to self-quarantine, you may leave your designated self-quarantine location to go to your medical procedure or other medical appointment. When you do leave your designated self-quarantine location and when in public after your mandatory self-quarantine period, you are required to wear a face covering when in public and when a six-foot distance from others is unavoidable, unless you have a medical condition that prevents you from wearing one.
- What if I am returning to Connecticut after visiting a state that was not on the list of Affected States when I arrived, but was added to the list of Affected States during my stay? While Executive Order 7III and the Commissioner of Public Health’s Travel Advisory require an Affected Traveler to self-quarantine upon arrival in Connecticut, the Department of Public Health will not pursue or levy civil penalties against an Affected Traveler who arrives in Connecticut following a stay in a state that was not on the list of Affected States when the traveler arrived (including instances in which the traveler arrived in a state prior to the effective date of Executive Order 7III) but became an Affected State during the Affected Traveler’s stay, provided the Affected Traveler returns to Connecticut not more than seven days following the date such state was added to the list of Affected States. Although the Department of Public Health will not pursue civil penalties against such travelers, all such travelers are still strongly encouraged to make every effort to self-quarantine. In addition, such Affected Travelers are still required to complete a Travel Health Form upon arrival in Connecticut and may be subjected to civil penalties by the Department of Public Health for failure to do so.
- Are there any exemptions for essential travel? Yes. Workers traveling from affected states to Connecticut who work in critical infrastructure as designated by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, including students in exempt health care professions, are exempted from the self-quarantine requirement when such travel is related to their work in Connecticut. This includes any state, local, and federal officials and employees traveling in their official capacities on government business. If such a worker was in an affected state for a reason other than Connecticut-related work (e.g., vacation), that worker must self-quarantine and complete the Travel Health Form.
- How long is the self-quarantine? The advisory requires visitors to Connecticut from affected states to self-quarantine for a period of 14 days from the time they were last in the affected state. If you board a plane in an affected state today, and land in Connecticut today, your 14 days begins today. If you are in Connecticut for a period less than 14 days, you should plan to be in self-quarantine throughout your visit. If you left an affected state and spent time in non-affected states prior to arriving in Connecticut, you start counting your 14-day period from the time you left the affected state and if only five of those 14 days are spent in Connecticut, you will need to quarantine in Connecticut for those five days.
- If I am coming to Connecticut to a hotel or bed and breakfast, can I do the self-quarantine there? Yes. Travelers are required to self-quarantine at their home, or a hotel or other temporary lodging. Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey are all asking hotels to communicate the 14-day self-quarantine requirements to guests who have traveled from one of the affected states.
- Does the self-quarantine requirement also extend to passengers flying to Connecticut on connecting flights that stop in high infection states before arriving in Connecticut? No. The requirement to self-quarantine does not apply to travelers who have a layover in an affected state, provided the layover is for less than 24 hours. If you spend 24 hours or longer in the affected state, you must quarantine when you arrive in Connecticut.
- If I live in Connecticut and have a household member or guest returning from an affected state, do I and other household members who have not traveled to an affected state also need to self-quarantine? Out-of-state visitors from affected states are encouraged to postpone travel. If it is not possible to delay travel, visitors are encouraged to self-quarantine in the home they are returning to in Connecticut. If it is not possible to self-quarantine from other household members, those other household members who did not travel from an affected state are not required to self-quarantine.
- Can travelers be tested for COVID-19 instead of self-quarantine? In general, no. The narrow exemption exists only for a traveler who is unable to self-quarantine for the required 14-day period. In such a case, a traveler may be exempted from the self-quarantine requirement provided that the traveler has (1) had a negative test result for COVID-19 in the 72 hours prior to arriving in Connecticut and (2) provided written proof of such test result to the Commissioner of Public Health via email to: DPH.COVID-Travel@ct.gov or via facsimile to: (860) 326-0529. If a test was obtained in the 72 hours prior to travel but the result is still pending at the time of arrival in Connecticut, such traveler shall remain in self-quarantine in Connecticut until the test result is received and, if such test result is negative, the result is submitted to the Commissioner of Public Health. If the test result is positive and the traveler is asymptomatic, he or she shall self-isolate for 10 days from the date of the test; if symptomatic, he or she should seek medical assistance. Travelers who test positive for COVID-19 prior to traveling to Connecticut should delay such travel and consult with a medical professional.
- What does “unable to self-quarantine” mean? The term "unable to self-quarantine" applies in very rare circumstances (e.g., coming to Connecticut for a funeral, an end-of-life visit to a relative). Returning to work is not a justification for being unable to self-quarantine. Individuals who plan voluntary travel to affected states should have arrangements with their employers to be self-quarantined for the two weeks after they return.
- If I am not able to self-quarantine while in Connecticut, and I was not able to get a test for COVID-19 from my state of origin in the 72 hours prior to arriving in Connecticut, can I get a COVID-19 test up to 24 hours after arriving in Connecticut to substitute for the requirement to self-quarantine while here? No. In order to fall under the testing exemption for the self-quarantine requirement, a traveler is required to have a test for COVID-19 in the 72 hours prior to arriving in Connecticut. There is no option to avoid the self-quarantine requirement through getting a COVID-19 test after you arrive in CT. While testing in Connecticut after visiting from an affected state may provide a more recent measure of a traveler’s risk for developing COVID-19 from their entire trip, this additional testing does not eliminate the risk of spreading the virus to fellow travelers and to residents of Connecticut. Since the COVID-19 incubation period ranges from two to 14 days, the 14-day self-quarantine period is the best method for preventing the spread of this virus from travelers visiting Connecticut from affected states.
- I am a foreign student arriving for college/university. Do I need to self-quarantine? While there currently are no Connecticut restrictions on international travel, it is recommended that you self-quarantine, per the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines. For additional guidance on international travel, please visit the "COVID-19 Travel Recommendations" section of the CDC's website. Also, you should refer to your college or university’s requirements for returning to campus.
- Should non-essential travel to affected states be avoided? Yes. Because of the risk of contracting infection, and because of the need to self-quarantine on return, Connecticut residents are urged to avoid travel to the affected states whenever possible.
- If I know someone has traveled to Connecticut from an affected state and is in violation of the self-quarantine rule, is there a channel for reporting this? Anyone wanting to report any violations of the self-quarantine order can either call 211 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- What information do I need to submit for a suspected violation of the self-quarantine rule? To report a suspected violation under the Connecticut Travel Advisory, send an email to email@example.com with "Travel Advisory Violation of Self-Quarantine" in the subject line with the following information:
- Your relationship to the individual suspected to be in violation (i.e. family member, co-worker, neighbor, healthcare provider, etc.):
- The individual suspected to be in violation:
- First and Last Name:
- Address (home residence)
- Phone/email (if known)
- Address (where staying in Connecticut):
- Affected state:
- Was their length of stay in an affected state 24 hours or longer? Yes or No
- Was their length of stay in Connecticut 24 hours or longer? Yes or No
- Mode of entry (i.e. plane, car, bus, train, boat)
- Approximate date of arrival in Connecticut:
- Description of suspected violation (for example, include the public place or workplace visited - name and city)
- If I get fined, is there any way I can dispute or appeal the fine? Any person who receives a notice of civil penalty may, within five business days of the date of the notice of civil penalty, request a hearing before the Commissioner of Public Health to contest the penalty. Such hearing, if requested, will be held within 15 business days of the Commissioner of Public Health’s receipt of the request.
FAQ Concerning Adjacent Affected States
- If there is a state bordering Connecticut (RI/MA/NY) that appears on the list of affected states, how does that state end up on the list? Due to a recent rise in COVID-19 cases in the adjacent state, the seven-day average for the daily positive test rate for COVID-19 is now greater than 10 per 100,000. This is the threshold set collectively by CT, NY and NJ triggering the self-quarantine requirement. Any state with a new daily positive case rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents or a state with a 10% or higher test positivity rate will be added to the list, per executive order of Governor Lamont.
- What does this mean for CT residents who are traveling to this bordering state? Any CT resident traveling to the adjacent state that is on the list of affected states and staying there longer than 24 hours must self-quarantine for 14 days when they arrive back in CT. If their visit to the neighboring affected state is less than 24 hours, the requirement to self-quarantine does not apply.
- If I am a CT resident who must go to an adjacent, affected state for work, how does this impact me? Any CT resident who needs to travel to an adjacent, affected state for work is not subject to the self-quarantine requirement, so long as their time in the adjacent affected state is less than 24 hours. Any CT resident who qualifies as an essential worker (as designated by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency) going to the bordering, affected state for work-related travel is not subject to the self-quarantine requirement. Any CT resident who commutes to an adjacent, affected state and is unable to telecommute, and will only be in the affected state for less than 24 hours, is strongly advised to limit all other contact in that state while there. Employers in affected, adjacent states can continue to expect employees who are CT residents to continue to come to work as needed, though telework options are preferable if possible.
- If I am a CT resident who must go to an affected, adjacent state for work, are there precautions I should take? Yes. First, we encourage you to telework if appropriate and allowed by your employer. Second, you should limit your activities while in that state to your workplace only. Avoid other public places and events while in the affected state.
- Should I cancel my travel plans to an affected, adjacent state? What if I just want to go to the beach for a day and not stay overnight? If you planned to travel to any affected but adjacent state for vacation in the near future – you are advised to change those travel plans in order to ensure you and your friends and family stay healthy. Traveling to the beach for a day in an adjacent, affected state does not trigger the self-quarantine requirement, but is still not advised at this time when COVID-19 infections in that state have grown.
- What does this mean for anyone traveling from an adjacent, affected state to CT? Any travelers who have spent more than 24 hours in an affected but adjacent state and plan on spending more than 24 hours in CT must fill out the travel form and self-quarantine for 14 days while in CT or for the duration of their stay if shorter.
- If I live in an adjacent, affected state but work in CT, can I still go to work? Yes. The self-quarantine requirement does not apply to residents of affected, adjacent states who must come into CT for work, so long as their stay in CT is less than 24 hours. CT employers can continue to expect any employees from adjacent but affected states to come to work as needed, though telework options are preferred if possible. Any resident from an adjacent, affected state who is unable to telecommute and is spending less than 24 hours in Connecticut is also strongly encouraged to limit all contacts while in Connecticut. CT employers with employees who are residents of adjacent, affected states should make every effort to provide telework options or otherwise limit employee time in CT.
- How long will this self-quarantine requirement be in effect and how might it change? If COVID-19 prevalence and infection numbers improve in the affected, adjacent state and the daily test positivity rate go down below the 10 per 100,000 threshold, that state will come off the list of affected states and the self-quarantine order will no longer apply to travel from there. The list of affected states comes out once a week every Tuesday. Check www.ct.gov/coronavirus/travel for more information.
- What happens if I come to CT from an affected state and am quarantining while in CT, but the other state comes off the list of affected states while I am here? Do I need to complete my quarantine period even while more recent arrivals have no quarantine or are they liberated from the remaining portion of their quarantine? Anyone who arrived from an affected state during the time that infections were higher needs to complete the quarantine period, even though newer arrivals are not required to quarantine since the risk from that state is lower once they are removed from the list of affected states.