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Volume XI, Number 104

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CDC Updates Guidance on Travel During the COVID-19 Pandemic

On August 21, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) updated its guidance on Travel during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Previously, the guidance recommended that travelers self-quarantine for 14 days after: (1) all international travel, and (2) domestic travel to areas with a high concentration of COVID-19 cases. The guidance now recommends that travelers “follow state, local, and territorial travel restrictions,” which may include “testing requirements, stay-at-home orders, and quarantine requirements upon arrival.” For international travel, the CDC recommends visiting the destination’s Office of Foreign Affairs or Ministry of Health or the U.S. State Department website for information about quarantine requirements.

Despite the CDC’s shift away from the 14-day quarantine recommendation upon return from international travel, CDC Level 3 Travel Health Warnings remain in place for nearly 200 countries – recommending that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to these areas. In addition, foreign nationals who have been to China, Iran, most countries in Europe, the United Kingdom, Ireland or Brazil during the past 14 days are still not permitted to enter the United States due to a Presidential declaration. According to the U.S. State Department, citizens and legal permanent residents are permitted to return from these areas, but may be required to travel through select airports with enhanced screening procedures.

Furthermore, in recent weeks, a number of states have issued travel advisories and guidance for travelers, several of which include either a mandated or recommended 14-day self-quarantine following return from travel to certain “hot spot” areas. For example, on June 24, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an Executive Order requiring all travelers entering New York from a state or territory with a high positive test rate to quarantine for 14 days. The New York Department of Health has been publishing an updated list of states and territories that meet the criteria for quarantine. As of August 27, 2020, this list includes over thirty states and territories. Those who violate the quarantine order may be subject to a civil penalty of up to $10,000 or imprisonment up to 15 days. Notably, the Order does not require a self-quarantine after international travel. However, any federal restrictions and guidance regarding such travel would still apply.

Other states that have issued advisories or guidance requiring or recommending a self-quarantine following travel include (but are not limited to): ConnecticutMassachusettsNew JerseyPennsylvania, and Washington, D.C.

In light of this federal and state guidance, employers should: (1) continue to monitor the travel restrictions and recommendations in the jurisdiction in which they operate, and (2) consider how these may impact business travel policies and, for employers who have resumed in-person operations, policies regarding return to work following international or out-of-state travel. Employers are also advised to consult with counsel, as certain considerations including anti-discrimination, wage and hour, and leave policies may be implicated.

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© 2021 Proskauer Rose LLP. National Law Review, Volume X, Number 240
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About this Author

Evandro Gigante Labor and Employment Lawyer Proskauer Rose Law FIrm
Partner

Evandro Gigante is a partner in the Labor & Employment Law Department and co-head of the Employment Litigation & Arbitration group and the Hiring & Terminations group. He represents clients through a variety of labor and employment matters, including allegations of sexual harassment, race, gender, national origin, disability and religious discrimination. Evandro also counsels employers through reductions-in-force, employee relations issues and other sensitive employment matters.

With a focus on discrimination and harassment claims,...

212.969.3132
Laura M. Fant, Labor & Employment Attorney, Proskauer Law Firm
Associate

Laura M. Fant is an Associate in the Labor & Employment Department, resident in the New York office. She is a member of the Accessibility and Accommodations Practice Group, and frequently counsels on matters involving the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and state public accommodation law, as well as disability accommodation in the workplace. She has experience conducting accessibility audits and providing ADA and accessibility training for clients in a variety of sectors, including retail, sports, and not-for-profit. Her practice also focuses on wage and hour...

212-969-3631
Alex Downie  New York  Labor & Employment Law
Law Clerk

Alex Downie is a law clerk in the Labor & Employment Law Department and a member of the Employment Litigation & Arbitration Group. He previously worked as a summer associate at Proskauer and as an intern at the Department of Justice.

Alex earned his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law, where he served as the executive editor of the Virginia Law & Business Review. He also volunteered for the school’s employment law clinic, where he assisted with a variety of employment-related matters ranging from employment discrimination to wage and hour disputes...

212-969-3848
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