HR Alert: Employee Travel After COVID-19 Vaccination

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As coronavirus vaccine distribution has started in New York State, you’re probably going to get a lot of questions from employees about whether they can travel out of the area without restrictions when they come back to work.

Right now, the New York State Department of Health guidelines for quarantine after travel have not changed even though some New Yorkers are getting vaccinated. New Yorkers still need to test and quarantine upon return to the state. The federal government hasn’t answered whether vaccination changes travel restrictions, either, but the CDC does recommend that individuals who have been vaccinated follow pre-vaccination protocols. Simply, we don’t yet know how long it takes the vaccine to work, whether vaccination stops the spread of the diseases, and how the interaction between vaccinated and non-vaccinated people will work.

New York State Department of Heath’s November 3, 2020 guidelines, which remain in effect, require the following:

Travelers who have been outside of New York State for more than 24 hours and are entering New York from a State that is not contiguous or from a CDC Level 2 or Level 3 Travel Health Notice country must still quarantine for 14 days upon their return unless:

  • They obtain a test 72 hours prior to their arrival in NYS which results in a negative finding,
  • They quarantine for at least three days after their arrival in NYS, and
  • On the fourth day after their arrival in NYS, they seek another test that also results in a negative finding.

The Traveler Health Form::  Individuals who leave NYS for less than 24 hours do not need to take a test before departing or quarantine upon their return, but they still must fill out the Traveler Health Form upon their return AND obtain a test on the fourth day after their arrival back in New York.

All individuals coming from a non-contiguous State or CDC Level 2 of Level 3 Health Notice country are also required to complete the form.

Essential Workers::  If you employ individuals deemed “essential workers,” different requirements for quarantine-upon-return apply with varying restrictions depending upon the duration of the expected travel time.

More Information/Resources

The Coppola Firm is here and ready to help business and management navigate the often-thorny waters of COVID-19 implications in the workplace. Call us for your consultation!

Lisa Coppola

Written by Lisa Coppola

Founder of The Coppola Firm

Lisa A. Coppola, Esq. understands the challenges her clients face, whether they’re starting a new business, taking their existing operations in a new direction, or facing a claim or threat.

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