It was the week for targeted lockdowns on movement in European countries; at 12.01 Sunday morning, France introduced a nighttime curfew across all its major metropolitan areas for a minimum of one month (9pm to 6am) and London moved from a tier one (medium) area to a tier two (high) area, where households can no longer mix with other households.
Across the Atlantic, on Thursday, the U.S. added 65,000 new daily cases, the highest since July. On Friday, 70,000 new cases were announced, as nine states set single-day case records, as reported by The New York Times. Epidemiologists are warning that half of U.S. states are “seeing surges unlike anything they experienced earlier in the pandemic”. As reported by AP, new cases per day are on the rise in 44 states, with the biggest surges in the Midwest and Great Plains.
However, there are currently only travel restrictions in 18 states (listed below) meaning that current U.S. travel restrictions don’t match the reality of the pandemic.
North Dakota and South Dakota, for instance, are adding more cases than any other since the start of the pandemic, but there are currently no state-wide travel restrictions in either state. In the Great Plains of North Dakota, one official said residents need to know “how perilously close we are to the edge” as hospital beds are filling up (on October 12, there were only 39 open ICU beds). The state still has no state-wide mask mandate.
Montana–currently with no state-wide travel restrictions–is averaging more than 500 cases every day. Montana’s Cascade County jail was virus-free until recently and now 300 inmates and staff are infected as Covid-19 swarms through the county. Some of the seven Indian reservations have enacted restrictions; crucial, considering that Native Americans are disproportionately affected (they have 5.3 times higher rates of hospitalization and a 1.4 times higher rates of death).
The Covid Act Now warning system (which includes Georgetown, Harvard and Stanford universities among its partners) has many states with no travel restrictions listed at the highest level (red) as “active or imminent outbreak”. North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana are currently the highest 3 states for new daily cases.
Travel restrictions across the U.S.
There are no nationwide travel restrictions across the entire U.S. and many states are allowing unrestricted travel either from their own state or for visitors arriving from other states with high infection rates.
Some states do currently have travel restrictions in place, either in a more general sense (e.g. encouraging self-isolation) or in a much more strict sense, based on a specific percentage or a specific rate of Covid-19 cases per 100,000 people. These lists are being updated mostly on a weekly basis, with many more states having been added during the last week (to match the