After using it for nearly five months to help curb the spread of the coronavirus, New Jersey is abandoning its state-by-state travel advisory formula as cases rise across the country, Gov. Phil Murphy announced Wednesday.
Instead, the state is now asking people who travel from any U.S. state or territory except immediate neighbors New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Delaware to voluntarily self-quarantine for 14 days after arriving.
Murphy is also urging people to avoid all unnecessary travel to and from the state.
“As COVID-19 cases continue to rise at an alarming rate throughout our nation, New Jersey will no longer utilize previously outlined metrics to inform its travel advisory,” Murphy said in a statement. “Given the increased risk of spreading COVID-19 for both residents who travel outside the state and for visitors into the state, New Jersey continues to strongly discourage all non-essential interstate travel at this time.”
If you do travel — whether it be visitors or residents returning home from a trip — New Jersey is asking you to self-quarantine at your home, a hotel, or other temporary lodging for 14 days.
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Murphy said the state Department of health will release more information in the coming days about new travel precautions.
“Individuals should continue to abide by the state’s current guidance until a new policy is issued,” he added.
The move comes the day before Thanksgiving — usually the busiest travel day of the year in the United States. But federal and state officials are asking Americans to stay home this year and celebrate with small gatherings of immediate household members to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“It’s not too late to change your plans for tomorrow,” Murphy tweeted Wednesday. “I know it’s difficult and heartbreaking to break with tradition, but small gatherings this Thanksgiving are the best way to protect your loved ones and ensure we can gather safely in the years to come.”
New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut introduced the travel advisory in June, calling on people traveling from states and territories considered coronavirus hot spots to self-quarantine for 14 days. It came at a time when the tri-state region, among the earliest COVID-19 epicenters, began to see numbers drop, while other parts of the country saw numbers surge.
States qualified for the list if they had a positive test rate higher than 10 pr 100,00 residents or if they had a 10% or higher positivity rate over a seven-day rolling average.
People traveling for work or essential reasons have been exempt.
With the virus starting to spread again across the U.S. — including the northeast — New York dropped the advisory late last month and began requiring visitors from non-neighboring states get a COVID-19 test instead.
New Jersey pressed on with the advisory but exempted neighboring states. Last week, 46 states