Federal and state officials have eased up on some of their guidelines for coronavirus-related travel restrictions.
On Monday, the Pennsylvania Department of Health removed Arizona from its list of travel restrictions originally announced on July 2. No new states were added.
The states that remain on Pennsylvania’s travel restriction list are Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. Anyone who travels to those states are encouraged to quarantine for 14 days upon return.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending people follow state and local recommendations or requirements after travel, according to its website. Previous guidelines recommended a 14-day quarantine for those returning from international destinations or areas with a high concentration of coronavirus cases, according to USA Today.
Nate Wardle, health department spokesman, said the state did not update its guidelines based on the CDC’s travel recommendations.
“It is important that people understand that this recommendation is in place to prevent the spread of covid-19 in Pennsylvania,” Wardle said. “A concerning number of recent cases have been linked to travel, and if people are going to travel, we need them to take steps to protect themselves, their loved ones and their community, and that involves quarantining.”
CDC spokeswoman Jasmine Reed said the CDC updated its travel guidance and travel health notices on Aug. 10.
Reed said the updated guidance is “based on risk of exposure during travel, asking travelers to think about what they did, where they were, and who they came into contact with to evaluate their risk of exposure to covid-19.”
“There were no changes to our guidance — the guidance has remained the same,” Reed said Tuesday. “We had to give clarification on the de-escalation for travel, so that’s where you could say the changes were made.”
In a statement provided to the Tribune-Review, the CDC said international and domestic travelers should still take precautions to protect others for 14 days after they arrive home, as some types of travel put travelers at higher risk for covid-19 exposure.
Higher risk activities include being in an area that is experiencing high levels of spread, such as a destination with a Level 3 Travel Health Notice, attending a mass gathering, being in crowded places or traveling on a cruise ship or river boat. Specific after-travel recommendations are identified in each country’s travel health notice, according to the CDC.
Precautions high risk travelers should take for 14 days after they arrive home include staying home, avoiding people at a higher risk for severe illness from covid-19 and getting tested for covid-19.
The Allegheny County Health Department continues to recommend that people who travel to high risk places and don’t have symptoms of covid-19 stay home and quarantine for 14 days.
“Quarantining is a strong recommendation from the Health Department, not a requirement,” spokeswoman Amie Downs said. “It is up to each individual depending on their specific travel whether to take action.”
Madasyn Lee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Madasyn at 724-226-4702, email@example.com or via Twitter .
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