Coronavirus (COVID-19) Legal Alerts

Employer Update: Understanding the Requirements of New Jersey’s Travel “Advisory”

7.17.2020

The State of New Jersey has issued a travel advisory that all individuals entering New Jersey from states with significant spread of COVID-19 should quarantine for 14 days after returning (or coming) to New Jersey.  The states identified on the list have a positive COVID-19 test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents, or, have a 10% or higher positivity rate over a seven day rolling average. Currently, as of July 14, there are 22 states on the list.  The list is updated regularly and may be accessed here: https://covid19.nj.gov/faqs/nj-information/general-public/which-states-are-on-the-travel-advisory-list-are-there-travel-restrictions-to-or-from-new-jersey.

The advisory states that “self-quarantine is voluntary, but compliance is expected.”  Travelers are not required to check in with public health officials unless required to do so by their employer or other federal, state, or local law or order.

Exemptions to the travel advisory are provided to individuals who are traveling from impacted states for business. For example, truckers driving from an impacted state to New Jersey and any state, local, and federal officials and employees traveling in their official capacities on government business are exempted.  The advisory indicates that “employees and employers should follow current CDC guidance regarding travel, published at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/travel-in-the-us.html.”

Critical infrastructure workers are also permitted to travel to New Jersey from designated states.

If an individual is arriving to New Jersey from an impacted state and the person gets a virus test, even if he or she test negatively for COVID-19, the traveler is advised to self-quarantine for 14 days because they remain in the “incubation period.”

Many employers are complying with the requirements of the travel advisory because “compliance is expected.”  If an employer is not going to enforce the travel advisory quarantine, it is suggested that the possible consequences of non-compliance be discussed with the employer’s workers’ compensation carrier and employment counsel.

If you are an employer with questions about this legal alert or any other employment law related matter, contact Tracy Armstrong or any member of the Wilentz Employment Law team.

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