New Yorkers traveling domestically are no longer required to quarantine. However, it’s still advised as an added precaution. CBS2's Dave Carlin reports.
DANA TYLER: We begin with another major step on the road to re-opening. New York State lifts its required travel quarantine for domestic travel. But with coronavirus cases still on the rise, how safe is it to travel? CBS2's Dave Carlin reports from LaGuardia Airport.
DAVE CARLIN: Every week, the number of air travelers goes up from fewer than 200,000 per day last March to more than 1.5 million daily fliers handled by TSA agents-- more crowds, but fewer restrictions. As of April 1, New York State says no more mandatory quarantine for domestic travelers.
When Governor Cuomo signed off on it, it was blasted as reckless by Mayor Bill de Blasio and some public health experts. Not having them on the same page makes traveling unnerving, said Reema Vaidya, heading to South Carolina.
REEMA VAIDYA: I know that we're not supposed to quarantine, but that's really-- I guess, with the vaccinations, things are just changing at a rapid rate.
DAVE CARLIN: The quarantine was down to less than a week after starting in June as a required two-week stretch. Everyone still fills out the New York State traveler health form. International travelers still quarantine, but not domestic ones, however, they are urged to do it voluntarily. The ramping up of vaccinations brings so much hope. Delta is planning to put middle seats back in use in May.
The airline CEO, Ed Bastian, talked about it with Gayle King on "CBS This Morning."
ED BASTIAN: The vaccinations are soaring. We've got to respond to the surge in demand that people are looking to travel.
DAVE CARLIN: When the State announced it was dropping the domestic quarantine back in mid-March, here was the mayor's response.
BILL DEBLASIO: I don't know if that's the State's idea of an April Fool's joke, but it's absolutely the wrong thing to do.
DAVE CARLIN: Fitness trainer, Phil Mucaria, says he does not fear jammed flights, as he left New York for a business trip in Chicago. He said any renewed warnings from public health experts and others about COVID rates and variables will not keep him away from air travel.
PHIL MUCARIA: Everyone has still got to go, or you could just tell people stay home if you're nervous. Don't travel. It's very easy.
DAVE CARLIN: Check with your employers about workplace policies. In some cases, there will be quarantine rules there. And for anyone looking to travel in 2021, book early, as the prices may rise. At LaGuardia Airport, Dave Carlin, CBS2 News.