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CA residents face quarantine, other travel restrictions when visiting certain states

Posted at 9:53 AM, Jul 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-28 14:24:40-04

Some states are now implementing a mandatory quarantine on visitors from certain high-risk states like California.

Several states now require incoming California residents to quarantine or provide proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test result and violators could face fines.

Emery Luper, who now lives in San Luis Obispo, learned of the restrictions first hand when he returned home to Fairbanks, AK earlier this month.

Along with a light jacket and the usual toiletries, Luper packed his COVID-19 test results, something the state of Alaska and several other states now require of tourists.

"I went to Atascadero urgent care, I got a COVID test there," Luper said. "They did it in my car so I had an individual come out and swab me then took the results. I had the results within three days, I had them in hand when I traveled and when I arrived in Alaska, they split us into three lines."

Luper's recent test results took him to the expedited entry line, where he signed an affidavit promising he was not experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.

Then he was free to exit the airport, where he found a much quieter town than he remembered.

"It was slower for sure without those tourists there, the town was definitely sleepier," Luper said. "We did some camping, hiking even though a lot of the amenities were closed."

Like Alaska, Rhode Island now requires proof of a negative COVID-19 test result to enter the state, otherwise, visitors are required to self-quarantine. Visitors to Hawaii will have the option to present a negative test result starting Sept. 1.

Maine, Mass., Vermont, New Hampshire, New York and New Jersey are all mandating visitors quarantine for two weeks upon entry, regardless of being tested.

Some states are imposing fines on travelers who violate quarantine orders. The City of Chicago is fining visitors from high-risk states like California as much as $7,000 for violating its quarantine order.

California is not forcing out of state visitors to quarantine but non-essential travel is discouraged.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said this week she was considering a travel restriction.

"I've already directed my team and the Oregon health authority to evaluate the process for restricting tourist travel into Oregon from the states with high infection rates or requiring mandatory quarantine for people coming here from hot spots," Brown said. "Together, we are taking these steps to protect Oregon, to dim the lights, to slow the spread."

Brown decided not to lockout visitors but the hard-hit city of Bend is asking tourists to stay away until after Labor Day.

Luper is back home in San Luis Obispo, following social distancing rules. He said the visit home to family was uplifting but warns travel comes with personal responsibility and a bit of discomfort.

"It was an unpleasant experience when they swabbed really deep in there but it's absolutely necessary to do," Luper said.