Thanksgiving travel: What to do before and after flying out of state

Coronavirus

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — While Thanksgiving travel is down significantly this year, there are still some people traveling to see loved ones. Rochester airport director Andy Moore said 1,400 people flew out of Rochester on Tuesday for the holiday, down from 4,500 in previous years. There are no restrictions when flying out of Rochester but there are steps you have to take when you return.

“The National Guard is here at the airport and they are interacting with passengers making sure the travel health forms are filled out when they arrive,” Moore said.

If you’re planning to fly out of state, you’ll have to either quarantine for 14 days when you return or get tested three days before you return to New York, quarantine for three days once you return home, and get tested again on the fourth day of your quarantine. If both tests are negative, you can stop quarantining.

Tests are in high demand right now and Rochester Regional Health chief nursing officer Rebecca Alley said the best thing to do is contact your primary care doctor first or call 922-CARE if you don’t have one.

“As our numbers here in Rochester continue to increase our sites, our urgent care locations, and our drive-thru testing sites and assessment site volume increases as well so we really want to make sure every patient is getting to the right level of care,” Alley said.

What about getting tested before heading to a Thanksgiving gathering? Executive medical director of the Primary Care Institute, Jane Salamone, said it’s not recommended.

“A negative COVID test does not mean you can go to a Thanksgiving gathering and not continue to practice good social distancing and wear a mask. The safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving this year is in your own home with your immediate family,” Salamone said.

Moore also said there would normally be 52 departing flights per day during this holiday week and that’s down to 22-25.

Travelers who leave New York State for less than 24 hours don’t need a test before leaving the other state and doesn’t need to quarantine when returning to New York. They still need to fill out the traveler form at the airport and take a COVID test four days after arriving back in New York.

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