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Are there travel restrictions to or from New Jersey?

Last Updated: 12/05/2020

New Jersey strongly discourages all non-essential interstate travel at this time.

Travelers and residents returning from any U.S. state or territory beyond the immediate region (New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Delaware) should self-quarantine at their home, hotel, or other temporary lodging following recommendations from the CDC:

  • If travel is unavoidable, travelers should consider getting tested with a viral test (not an antibody test) 1-3 days before the trip and again 3-5 days after the trip.
  • If travelers test positive, they should self-isolate for at least 10 days and should postpone travel during that time.
  • If travelers test negative, they should quarantine for a full 7 days after travel.
  • If testing is not available (or if the results are delayed), travelers should quarantine for 10 days after travel.

The advisory is no longer specific to certain states. Because of the rising number of case counts across all states, there is an increased risk of spread of COVID-19 upon return from any travel.

The self-quarantine is voluntary, but compliance is expected. Travelers arriving from areas with increasing COVID-19 cases may wish to postpone their travel to the region if they are unwilling or unable to follow the quarantine advisory.

Travelers and those residents who are returning from states and territories beyond the immediate region should quarantine at their home, or a hotel or other temporary lodging. Individuals should leave the place of quarantine only to seek medical care/treatment or to obtain food and other essential items.

We ask that anyone who travels to New Jersey from a state/territory outside the immediate region (New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Delaware) complete a voluntary online survey to provide information about where you are traveling from and your destination.

Access the survey by visiting covid19.nj.gov/njtravel or texting "NJTRAVEL" to 898211.

If you choose to provide this information, it will be shared with local New Jersey Public Health authorities and other third parties when required by law. Local health departments will contact you to remind you to self-quarantine and offer assistance including information about testing locations.

Please note that this advisory does not apply to individuals:

  • Who are returning to New Jersey after traveling outside of the state for less than 24 hours or those traveling to New Jersey for less than 24 hours - Even where travel is less than 24 hours, however, individuals are still discouraged from engaging in non-essential travel to other states to the extent possible.
  • Who are in transit through the state to another destination, provided that the time spent in the state is only the amount of time necessary to complete the transit, make use of travel services, such as a highway rest stop, or make necessary travel connections.

For answers to commonly asked questions, refer to the Department of Health's Frequently Asked Questions about the self-quarantine for travelers.

Essential Travel

Essential travel would include, for example:

  • Individuals traveling to and from the state for work.
  • Individuals traveling to and from the state for medical reasons, including individuals providing comfort and support to a patient.
  • Military personnel traveling to the state by order or directive of a state or Federal military authority.
  • Individuals traveling to comply with a court order, such as child custody.

Essential Personnel

Though all individuals should avoid non-essential travel, essential personnel (also known as critical infrastructure workers) may be exempt from the recommendation to quarantine in limited circumstances. According to guidance from the CDC, "reintegrating exposed critical infrastructure workers who are not experiencing any symptoms and have not tested positive back into onsite operations should be used as a last resort and only in limited circumstances, such as when cessation of operation of a facility may cause serious harm or danger to public health or safety."

For more information on recommendations for critical infrastructure workers, refer to the CDC's Critical Infrastructure Response Planning page.

Testing

Testing is available to everyone in New Jersey and is strongly encouraged for those who travelled to areas heavily impacted by COVID-19. To find a testing site near you, visit covid19.nj.gov/testing. Whenever possible, you are encouraged to quarantine after getting tested while you await your test results.

If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 while under quarantine, you should immediately isolate away from others, contact your healthcare provider and where feasible, get tested for COVID-19. For most persons with COVID-19 illness, isolation and precautions can generally be discontinued 10 days after symptom onset and are fever-free for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing medications, and with improvement of other symptoms.

International Travel

International travelers should refer to guidance published by the CDC and check the CDC's COVID-19 travel recommendations by destination. Many countries are categorized as a Level-4 high COVID-19 risk, and the CDC recommends avoiding all travel to these countries. Visit the CDC for information on testing and international travel.

Sick Leave and Family Leave

You may be able to use State-mandated earned sick leave to self-quarantine. The New Jersey Earned Sick Leave Law permits an individual who has worked for their employer for at least 120 days to use earned sick leave that they have accrued under law when, during a state of emergency declared by the Governor, or upon the recommendation, direction or order of a health care provider or the Commissioner of Health or other authorized public official, the employee undergoes isolation or quarantine as a result of a suspected exposure to a communicable disease and a finding by the provider or authority that the employee's presence in the community would jeopardize the health of others. Please contact your employer for more information about leave eligibility or visit https://getstarted.nj.gov/labor/.

You may be able to use family leave if a family member is subject to self-quarantine. The New Jersey Family Leave Act (NJFLA) entitles an employee to take job-protected leave from work when a health care provider or public health authority recommends that a family member in need of care by the employee voluntarily undergo quarantine as a result of suspected exposure to a communicable disease because the presence in the community of the family member in need of care by the employee would jeopardize the health of others. Please contact your employer for more information about leave eligibility or visit https://getstarted.nj.gov/labor/.

Source: Joint Incoming Travel Advisory; NJ DOH Travel Advisory FAQs; CDC "Travel During COVID-19" Page