June 1, 2023


Just Do Travel

N.J. loosens COVID travel restrictions, Murphy announces

New Jersey is changing its travel and quarantine guidelines to reflect new recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Gov. Phil Murphy said at his Monday coronavirus briefing.

“New Jersey is no longer advising fully vaccinated individuals who travel domestically to self-quarantine after their trip or to get tested before or after travel,” Murphy said. “The federal requirement for testing upon return to the United States following international air travel stands.”

All travelers still need to take COVID-19 precautions including wearing a mask, avoiding crowds, physically distancing and washing their hands while they are traveling, Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli said.

She said guidance for unvaccinated travelers has not changed. They should should defer travel until fully vaccinated. If they must travel, they should take a viral test one to three days before the trip and get tested three to five days after they travel.

“It is recommended that they stay home and self-quarantine for a full seven days after travel, even if the post-travel test is negative,” she said. “If they are not tested after travel, they should stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel.”

Persichilli said international travel poses additional risks.

“Even fully vaccinated travelers are at increased risk for getting and possibly spreading the new COVID-19 variants,” she said.

Fully vaccinated people traveling internationally don’t need to get tested upon departure unless it’s required by their destination country, she said.

But coming back to the United States is different, she said.

“The federal government requires fully vaccinated air travelers coming to the U.S. from abroad to have a negative COVID-19 viral test within three days of travel, or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 in the past three months before they board a flight to the U.S.,” Persichilli said. Travelers should be tested again for COVID-19 three to five days after travel, she said.

Fully vaccinated travelers do not need to self-quarantine following international travel, she said.

Unvaccinated international travelers must follow the same testing guidance, but they also must self-quarantine for seven days, even if the test is negative, the CDC said.

Before the loosening of the restrictions. New Jerseyans returning from travel to any U.S. state or territory beyond the immediate region, which included New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Delaware, were required to self-quarantine at their home or hotel.

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Karin Price Mueller may be reached at [email protected].