Traveling for Christmas? These states require a COVID-19 test before entering

Coronavirus Updates

In this June 16, 2020 file photo, a traveler wears a mask and protective goggles as he walks through Terminal 3 at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago. United Airlines says its face mask requirement now extends to ticket counters and airport lounges. United said Wednesday, July 22 that it might ban violators from flying on its planes. United and all other major U.S. airlines already require passengers to wear masks during flights. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – The holidays will be one for the books as many plans and traditions will be altered because of the COVID-19 pandemic. While there will certainly be fewer Americans traveling this year than in years past, millions will still be traveling this holiday season.

Below, ABC4 has included every state that is requiring a negative COVID-19 test before entering, and also which states are requesting or requiring visitors to self-quarantine for up to 14 days upon their arrival.

This information is subject to change. When traveling, check with local officials on COVID-19 guidelines.

Alaska: All non-Alaskan residents entering Alaska must submit a travel declaration and a self-isolation plan. Travelers must also arrive with proof of a qualifying negative COVID-19 test. If travelers arrive in the state without a negative test, they must pay $250 for a COVID-19 test and self-quarantine until results arrive. Visitor’s COVID-19 test and self-quarantine costs will be at their own expense.

California: According to the state’s website, California public health officials have recommended that people coming from out of state, including California residents, quarantine for 14 days after entering or returning to California.

Hotels in California cannot accept or honor out-of-state reservations for non-essential travel unless the reservation is for at least the minimum time period required for quarantine and the person plans on staying at the hotel until their quarantine is over. Hotels also cannot honor in-state reservations for non-essential travel.

Connecticut: Anyone traveling to Connecticut from a state other than New York, New Jersey, or Rhode Island, or are coming from a state with more than a 10% test positivity rate, or are traveling from a country that the CDC has declared a Level 3 Travel Health Notice, are directed to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. People traveling to the state from one of the states with more than a 10% positivity rate must fill out a travel health form upon arrival.

Travelers can be exempted from the self-quarantine if they have had a negative COVID test in the 72 hours prior to arrival in Connecticut. Proof of a negative test must be sent to the Commissioner of Public Health via email: DPH.COVID-Travel@ct.gov.

District of Columbia: Anyone traveling from a state with more than 10 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people must receive a COVID test 72 hours within traveling. Visitors who successfully have a negative test to travel and are in D.C. for more than three days must receive another negative COVID test within 3-5 days of arrival.

Exceptions for D.C.’s travel rules include people from Maryland and Virginia, essential workers, visitors planning on staying for less than 24 hours, and people traveling to D.C. for a family emergency, such as a funeral.

Hawaii: People traveling to the island of Kauai must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival regardless of if they have a negative COVID-19 test or not. People traveling to other islands can avoid the 14-day quarantine by having an approved negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of their final leg of their trip. All travelers must fill out a health form where their negative COVID-19 results must be uploaded and shown at the airport in Hawaii. Travelers must have a negative COVID-19 test in hand when they arrive in Hawaii and cannot have their results pending.

Illinois: While the state does not have any specific travel restrictions/requirements, the City of Chicago does. Chicago has a color-coded system that places states in a red, orange, or yellow category. Visitors from ‘red’ states must quarantine for 10 days upon arrival to the city, ‘orange’ states can quarantine for 10 days or avoid that quarantine by having proof of a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival. People coming from ‘yellow’ states do not have to quarantine upon arrival or have proof of a negative test.

Chicago updates their list of what states fall in what color category every Tuesday.

Kansas: Kansas wants all visitors and residents to quarantine if they have attended/traveled to mass gatherings out of state that had more than 500 people, been on a cruise or river cruise after March 15, and those who have been in contact with someone with COVID-19.

Kentucky: Kentucky is encouraging people who have traveled out of state or who are visiting the state to voluntarily self-quarantine for 14 days when they arrive in Kentucky.

Maine: People traveling to Maine (excluding New Hampshire and Vermont) need to quarantine for 10 days or have a negative COVID-19 test no earlier than 72 hours before arriving in the state. Children under the age of 18 do not need a negative test if they are traveling with adults who have negative tests.

Maryland: People arriving in Maryland are strongly encouraged to immediately get a COVID-19 test upon arrival in the state or within 72 hours prior to traveling to Maryland. Any resident who travels to a state with a positivity rate of more than 10% should get tested and self-quarantine at home until their test result is received. Washington D.C, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and West Virginia are exempt from this recommendation.

Massachusetts: People traveling to Massachusetts are required to fill out a travel form prior to arrival. Visitors also must quarantine for 14-days or produce a negative COVID-19 test that was administered no more than 72 hours prior to arrival in Massachusetts.

New Hampshire: Anyone visiting the state or returning home to the state after being anywhere other than Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, or Rhode Island must self-quarantine for 10 days upon arriving in New Hampshire. People have the option of ending their quarantine early by getting a COVID-19 test on day 6 or 7. If the test is negative, people can end their quarantine and are encouraged to self-observe for any COVID-19 symptoms that they may experience.

New Jersey: Anyone traveling to New Jersey outside of the region (New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Delaware) should self-quarantine upon arrival to the state. State officials say travelers should consider getting a test before and after their trip.

New Mexico: New Mexico officials are requiring anyone traveling from a ‘high-risk state’ to self-quarantine upon arrival. The only state that is not a high-risk state right now as defined by New Mexico is Hawaii.

New York: People traveling to New York must fill out a Traveler Health Form before arriving. For travelers from a noncontiguous state, they must obtain a COVID test within 72 hours prior to arrival in the state. Regardless of test results, all visitors must quarantine for three days upon their arrival. On day four, visitors must obtain another COVID-19 test. If both tests have come back negative, the traveler may exit quarantine.

Ohio: Those entering Ohio from a state reporting a positivity case rate greater than 15% are advised to self-quarantine for 14 days.

Oregon: Oregon officials are encouraging people to quarantine for 14 days after they arrive in the state.

Pennsylvania: Travelers coming from another state must present a negative COVID-19 test that was taken within 72 hours of arriving in the state or can choose to quarantine for 10 days.

Rhode Island: People visiting Rhode Island must have proof of a negative COVID-19 test if they are coming from a state with greater than a 5% positivity rate.

Vermont: Vermont is requiring any travelers coming to their state to quarantine for 14 days.

Washington: The state’s governor issued a travel advisory recommending a 14-day quarantine for out of state travelers entering the state.

Wisconsin: While the state of Wisconsin does not have specific guidelines on testing/quarantining, specific cities and counties in the state may require self-quarantine.

The Centers for Disease Control says that the best way to minimize the spread of COVID-19 this holiday season is to celebrate virtually or only with members of your own household. The CDC says that organizers and attendees of larger events should consider the risk of the virus spread based upon the group size.

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