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Does being fully vaccinated get you around New York's travel advisory rules?

For now, the answer appears to be "no," but several other states are lifting quarantine rules for domestic travelers who have received both doses of the vaccine.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — 2 On Your Side has been getting questions from viewers asking whether receiving both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine will exempt them from having to follow New York’s COVID-19 travel advisory, which requires testing and quarantine protocols for certain domestic travelers.

Except for certain individuals traveling as essential workers, here is the current Traveler’s Advisory, last updated in early November for any traveler to New York State from a non-contiguous state, US territory or CDC level 2 (and higher) country who were out-of-state for more than 24 hours:

  • Travelers must obtain a test within three days of departure, prior to arrival in New York State
  • The traveler must, upon arrival in New York, quarantine for three days
  • On day four of their quarantine, the traveler must obtain another COVID test. If both tests comes back negative, the traveler may exit quarantine early upon receipt of the second negative diagnostic test

In addition:

For travelers who were out-of-state for less than 24 hours:

  • The traveler does not need a test prior to their departure from the other state, and does not need to quarantine upon arrival in New York State
  • However, the traveler must fill out the state's traveler form upon entry into New York State, and take a COVID diagnostic test four days after their arrival in New York

According to a person who answered a call we placed to New York’s COVID-19 hotline on Monday, travelers must still follow the testing and quarantine protocols, even if they have received both doses of vaccine.

What some individuals may find as nonsensical (and even maddening) is that New York is clinging to these rules, even though the governor announced more than a week ago that the state would follow another new set of CDC guidelines pertaining to individuals who have been fully vaccinated.

Those guidelines advise that those who’ve been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, need not have to quarantine, even if they are exposed to someone with the virus. 

However, New York still requires you to abide by its quarantine protocols even if you haven't been exposed, merely because you traveled somewhere. New York is one of only 18 states that still have quarantine requirements for domestic travelers.

And while a number of states, including Vermont, Alaska, and Hawaii have in recent days announced plans to lift restrictions for domestic travelers who have had both doses of the vaccine, there is no word thus far if New York is preparing to do likewise.