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New York's Domestic Travel Quarantine Set To End In April

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Starting next month you no longer have to quarantine once you enter New York. CBS2's Alice Gainer reports.

Video Transcript

KRISTINE JOHNSON: Well, the governor's office also made a big announcement today on the road to reopening from the pandemic.

MAURICE DUBOIS: Starting next month, if you're traveling domestically, you no longer have to quarantine when you arrive in New York. CBS 2's Alice Gainer live tonight in Times Square, where there are mixed reviews concerning the change. Alice.

ALICE GAINER: Maurice and Kristine, tourism officials are excited about this, believing it'll bring a boost to struggling businesses. But the mayor says the governor never consulted the city, and he is concerned. Beginning April 1, if you're traveling to New York from another state or US territory, you're no longer required to quarantine, though it is still advertised as an added precaution. You will still have to fill out a traveler health form when you get here. And a mandatory quarantine remains in effect for international travelers.

BILL DE BLASIO: I believe in local control.

ALICE GAINER: Mayor de Blasio and the city's health officials expressed concern about lifting the domestic quarantine requirement.

JAY VARMA: We now have 51% of the cases in the city due to new strains of this virus that are more infectious. So we do feel really strongly that it's important for us to be as cautious as we possibly can. And we know that one of the ways to help reduce infection is to limit the amount of travel that's going in and out of the city.

Especially with the variants, we want to limit how they move through our country and that therefore, having people be going without any quarantine is worrisome to me.

ALICE GAINER: People are still being told to wear masks, practice social distancing and avoid gatherings. Meantime, tourism officials believe more visitors will now come back.

CHRISTOPHER HEYWOOD: Domestic travel is just so crucial to tourism. It represents about 80% of all of our visitor volume.

TOM HARRIS: As far as the hotels in Times Square go, about half of them are open, and we're seeing the occupancy at low levels.

ALICE GAINER: Tom Harris is the acting president of the Times Square Alliance. He says numbers are slowly increasing, and with the combination of more vaccinations and restrictions being lifted, they expect that number to go up even more.

TOM HARRIS: Our pedestrian counts the last couple of days have been over 100,000, which is very encouraging.

ALICE GAINER: Connecticut ends its travel advisory next week. As for New Jersey, it has not made any announcement about what it plans to do. We are live in Times Square tonight, Alice Gainer, CBS 2 News.

MAURICE DUBOIS: OK, Alice. Thank you.