Chicago now allowing all travelers to avoid quarantine with negative COVID-19 test before arrival

Chicago News

CHICAGO — The City of Chicago revised its Emergency Travel Order Tuesday to allow anyone coming from from a state deemed “high-risk” for the spread of COVID-19 to avoid a 10-day quarantine by testing negative before they arrive in the city.

The Chicago Department of Public Health continues to identify states as “high-risk” for the spread of COVID-19 if they report more than 15 cases per 100,000 residents on average. As of Tuesday, nearly every state including Illinois meets this metric, with Hawaii being the only exception.

Starting Friday, anyone coming to Chicago from one of these “high-risk” states must self-quarantine for 10 days unless they test negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours of arriving.

Chicago previously allowed travelers to avoid a 10-day quarantine with a Covid test only if their origin was reporting infection rates lower than those in the city. Now they can do so when arriving from any “high-risk” state.

“We’ve made this change to come more in line with updated CDC guidance regarding to travel and also in recognition to, increasingly, testing is available in more settings,” CDPH Director Dr. Allison Arwady said.

For those arriving from Hawaii, no quarantine or test is needed although officials still advise travelers to follow health guidelines on mask wearing and social distancing. Any “essential workers” who arrive in Chicago on job-related travel are exempted from the order as well.

While Chicago saw a rise in the number of COVID-19 cases reported on average after the holidays, Arwady said the increase didn’t amount to anything “significantly concerning” for health officials.

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