Legal Blog

Maryland Joins the Ranks of States Addressing Out-of-State Travel Amidst Rising COVID-19 Positivity Rates

On July 29, 2020, Governor Hogan issued a “Notice – Out of State Travel and Public Travel Advisory”, effective immediately, which shall remain in effect until the state of emergency in Maryland has been lifted and the proclamation of the catastrophic health emergency has been rescinded.

Unlike other state travel advisories which are mandatory and require self-quarantine after out-of-state travel, such as the tri-state area (NY, NJ, CT) and Washington D.C. travel advisories, Maryland’s travel advisory is a strong recommendation to Marylanders and out-of-state travelers.

The travel advisory generally recommends that all Marylanders refrain from non-essential travel outside of Maryland due to recent increases in COVID-19 infections in other states.  However, if Marylanders decide to travel out-of-state, the State recommends any travelers either get tested upon arrival in Maryland or within 72 hours before travel to Maryland.  The State further recommends that out-of-state travelers get tested 72 hours before travel to Maryland and self-quarantine in their home state or at a hotel until receiving their test results.

For Marylanders who travel “to a state with a COVID-19 test positivity rate above 10% should get tested and self-quarantine at home until the test result is received.” As of July 29, the following nine-states met or exceeded the 10% positivity rate: Florida, Texas, Georgia, Louisiana, Arizona, Alabama, South Carolina, Nebraska, and Idaho.  Travel to/from the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of Virginia is exempt from this recommendation, as well as essential workers returning or traveling to Maryland to perform essential work.  As test positivity rates fluctuate across the country, we can anticipate that this list of nine-states will change.

What does this mean for you and your business?

  • Stay informed with the latest travel restrictions in states where you do business, as well as neighboring states where your employees may regularly travel;
  • Create or update travel policies to address employee out-of-state travel;
  • Continue to encourage remote work, if possible;
  • Create a business strategy to deal with employees subject to the travel advisory to minimize the impact on your operations and navigate issues such as employee leave.

Although this advisory is a recommendation, similar to other COVID-19 guidance from the CDC, OSHA, and from the state, it likely constitutes a best practice that Marylanders and Maryland businesses should consider implementing as the risk of exposure to COVID-19 persists.

Veronica K. Yu is an attorney in the labor and employment practice group. Veronica allows business owners to focus on growing their businesses by anticipating, identifying, and navigating legal issues. She works with her clients to come up with solutions to their greatest legal questions and concerns. She also counsels her clients to proactively implement strong policies and practices to ensure they will not face expensive and prolonged legal disputes, as well as how to comply with federal regulations, such as wage and discrimination laws.

 

 

 

 

 

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