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Travel Guidelines Update for the Fully COVID Vaccinated

While still discouraging all non-essential interstate travel during the pandemic, the State of NJ has updated its travel guidelines to and from New Jersey to reflect the growing population of vaccinated residents in the state. 

As of Monday, April 5th, the following restrictions in compliance with CDC recommendations are now in effect. 

DOMESTIC TRAVEL GUIDELINES FOR THE FULLY VACCINATED

You no longer need to quarantine or get tested before/after domestic travel if you are fully vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19 in the past three months.  Fully vaccinated means that:

  • It has been more than two weeks since you received your second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine.
  • It has been more than two weeks since you received your first and only dose of the Janssen/Johnson and Johnson vaccine; or,
  • You have clinically recovered from COVID-19 in the past three months

DOMESTIC TRAVEL GUIDELINES FOR THE NON-VACCINATED

Unvaccinated 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. Unvaccinated individuals should leave the place of quarantine only to seek medical care/treatment or to obtain food and other essential items.

The self-quarantine is voluntary, but compliance is expected. Unvaccinated 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.

The State asks that unvaccinated travelers subject to the travel advisory 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.

EXCEPTIONS

This does not apply to unvaccinated 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
  • Who are essential personnel or traveling for essential reasons.

INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL

The federal requirement for testing upon return to the United States still stands for both unvaccinated and fully vaccinated travelers.  See the CDC requirements following:

All air passengers entering the United States from a foreign country are required to provide proof of a negative test for COVID-19 or of recovery from COVID-19. Travelers are required to get tested no more than 3 days before their flight to the U.S. departs and show their negative result to the airline before boarding or be prepared to show documentation of recovery (proof or a recent positive viral test and a letter from a healthcare provider or public health official stating that they were cleared to travel). For more information, visit the CDC website.

In addition, with specific exceptions, foreign nationals who have been in any of the following countries during the past 14 days may NOT enter the United States: China, Iran, countries in the European Schengen Area, United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Brazil, and South Africa. For more details and a full list of exceptions, refer to the CDC's update on travelers prohibited from entry.

International travelers should also 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.

AFTER INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL (FULLY VACCINATED) 

  • Get tested with a viral test 3-5 days after travel.
    • If your test is positive, isolate yourself to protect others from getting infected.
  • Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms; isolate and get tested if you develop symptoms.
  • Follow all state and local recommendations or requirements after travel.

AFTER INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL INFORMATION (UNVACCINATED PEOPLE)

  • Get tested with a viral test 3-5 days after travel AND stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days after travel.
    • Even if you test negative, stay home and self-quarantine for the full 7 days.
    • If your test is positive, isolate yourself to protect others from getting infected.
  • If you don’t get tested, stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel.
  • Avoid being around people who are at increased risk for severe illness for 14 days, whether you get tested or not.
  • Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms; isolate and get tested if you develop symptoms.
  • Follow all state and local recommendations or requirements.

INFORMATION FOR PEOPLE WHO RECENTLY RECOVERED FROM COVID-19

If you recovered from a documented COVID-19 infection within the last 3 months, follow all requirements and recommendations for fully vaccinated travelers except you do NOT need to get a test 3-5 days after travel unless you are symptomatic. People can continue to test positive for up to 3 months after diagnosis and not be infectious to others.

TESTING

The State of New Jersey strongly encourages everyone in NJ and especially those who travelled to areas heavily impacted by COVID-19, to avail themselves of available testing. 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.

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