CONNECTICUT — Less than a day after suggesting the state was on the verge of relaxing the restrictions that placed states onto its coronavirus travel advisory list, Gov. Ned Lamont pulled a one-eighty.
During a news conference Tuesday, the governor told reporters that the present metrics would stay in place.
Currently, states and territories are placed on the advisory list if they have a daily positive coronavirus test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents or a 10 percent or higher positive rate over a seven-day rolling average. On Monday, Lamont said that soon states would need to meet both criteria, not just one, and the positivity rate would be lowered to 5 percent. That change would make qualifying for the travel advisory list more difficult.
Nevertheless, that threshold will remain, at least for the time being. The surprise move Tuesday came after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo doubled down on keeping the current guidelines in place, during a news conference of his own earlier.
Cuomo said he would be speaking with Lamont and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy about how New York officials can help with the outbreaks and also “about making it clear to the extent travel among the states or between the states is not essential, it should be avoided.”
The governors added Arizona and Maryland to the area’s coronavirus travel advisory list Tuesday, bringing the number of restricted places to 40.
Lamont said there has always been an exemption to any travel restrictions between New York and Connecticut, for the residents of one state who live in the other. The recent spike in infections, however, was making the tri-state area governors take a hard look at non-essential travel around the area.
“If you don’t have to travel, if you don’t have to go into parts of Brooklyn and Queens, where you’ve got an 8 percent positivity rate, don’t go.” Lamont said.
Connecticut’s and New Jersey’s positivity rates still stand far below the 10 percent threshold for the travel advisory, but their cases reached above 10 cases per 100,000 people, New York officials said.
“The travel advisory was designed to keep our respective states safe, with the understanding that we are a connected region, dependent on each other when it comes to commerce, education, and health care. We’re urging all of our residents to avoid unnecessary or non-essential travel between states at this time, but will not subject residents of our states to a quarantine if coming from a neighboring state. New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut have among the lowest infection rates in the country because we have based our approaches to controlling the spread on science and data, and we will continue to do so.”
Lamont has directed his staff to reach out to their counterparts in Massachusetts and Rhode Island to discuss working out a similar approach with their respective states.
Until then, anyone from a restricted state traveling to Connecticut who failss to complete a travel health form is still liable for a civil penalty of $1,000 for each violation. A total of 49 people have been fined so far, Lamont said Monday, and the majority of those have been Connecticut residents.
While there currently are no Connecticut-imposed restrictions on international travel, the federal government continues to provide international travel recommendations for anyone living inside the United States. For guidance on international travel, see the “COVID-19 Travel Recommendations” published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
News – CT Discourages Travel To NY As Infections Rise