Officials change recommendations for travelers flying into CT as state COVID-19 rates increase

Coronavirus

WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. (WTNH) — In a press conference Monday, Governor Ned Lamont reported officials have updated how states qualify for Connecticut’s travel advisory.

The metrics behind the tri-state travel advisory requiring people to quarantine or test negative are such that Connecticut could qualify for its own advisory. Now, Governor Lamont says it has become “unmanageable,” so he’s working with neighbors in New York and New Jersey on modifications.

Previously, a state had to have 10 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 or a 10% positivity rate over a seven-day rolling average to qualify for the list.

Now, a state has to have 10 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 and a 5% positivity rate.

Those traveling from affected states have to self-quarantine for 14 days. This only applies to travelers who have been in the affected state for 24 hours or more.

RELATED: Three states added to CT’s travel advisory list; no states removed this week

More than two million COVID-19 tests have been done in Connecticut since the pandemic began earlier this year. At the state’s peak only last week, our positivity rate was around 2.5%.

“Our state remains among the top 5 nationally in testing,” Lamont said on Twitter, adding, “Compared to our peers, Connecticut is still one of the lowest infection rates in the country.”

Now, the state is working to keep those numbers low through the new travel recommendations.

No changes have been made to travel advisory requirements and enforcement for impacted states.

“Still, for those places that have 10 per 100,000, or five percent positivity, either or, both of those, then it’s really important that you’re gonna have to quarantine. That’ll be enforceable,” Gov. Lamont said. “I think it means we brought the number of states that fall in the category from over 40 down to about 33, which is more manageable.”

Travelers like Niko Laron of South Windsor heading to hot spots like South Carolina say they plan to take all precautions and don’t mind changes to the advisory.

“I’m going to get tested and quarantine when I get back, especially because in the field of work that I’m in, we’re around a lot of people,” Laron said.

Other travelers, like Paula Dwyer of Monroe, who’s heading to Orlando, say they are growing tired of the frequent changes. And say some people should opt to quarantine.

Dwyer said, “I think the people at risk, more at risk should be at home, you know I feel comfortable traveling. I’m a nurse myself.”

So far, the state has issued 45 fines to people for violating the guidelines. 

The governor also said he is passing along what the Department of Public Health is recommending: Stay close to home this holiday season and limit both domestic and international travel.

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