Chicago Adds 14-Day Travel Quarantine

Filed Under: Travel

Even domestic travel is getting significantly more complicated. A few days ago a 14-day quarantine was added for travelers arriving in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut from regions with high COVID-19 infection rates. Now a similar requirement has been added in Chicago.

Chicago’s 14-day travel quarantine requirement

An Emergency Travel Order has been issued for Chicago, requiring a 14-day quarantine when traveling to Chicago from a state experiencing a surge in new COVID-19 cases:

  • This applies as of 12:01AM on Monday, July 6
  • This applies to individuals arriving in the city of Chicago, while they are in the city (it doesn’t matter whether you’re returning home or are visiting Chicago from out of state)
  • This restriction will apply to people coming from states that have a case rate greater than 15 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 resident population, per day, over a seven day rolling average
  • The list of restricted states will be updated every Tuesday according to the above methodology
  • Essential workers aren’t subjected to this policy
  • The order is in effect until further notice
  • Those who violate the order are subject to fines of $100-500 per day, up to $7,000
  • I don’t see anything regarding how this will be enforced; it doesn’t seem that you have to register where you’ll be quarantining, etc.

Which states are subject to Chicago’s quarantine requirement?

Based on the current new COVID-19 cases, travel from the following 15 states is covered under this order:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • North Carolina
  • Nevada
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah

My take on “domestic” quarantines

A few thoughts, as we’re seeing an increasing number of cities and states add travel quarantine requirements:

  • I’m not opposed to this in general, but at some point the logistics could get complicated, given that in some cases the restrictions are based on city, and in other cases they’re based on state
  • This makes planning even domestic travel virtually impossible, since the list of restricted states will constantly be changing
  • I do wonder to what extent this will be enforced, and therefore to what extent people will adhere to this policy; Hawaii has done a good job enforcing travel restrictions, but here the greatest risk seems like a $100-500 daily fine
  • While testing is challenging again in some areas, it sure would be nice if there were an option to be tested either before or after travel to skip the 14-day quarantine

Bottom line

Chicago has a new 14-day quarantine requirement for visitors coming from states with high rates of new COVID-19 cases. I certainly can’t blame Chicago, and I imagine we’ll only see this trend spread.

While international travel has been largely off the table for a while, we have seen an increase in domestic travel. We could slowly see that trend start to reverse.

What do you make of more cities and states adding 14-day quarantines?

  1. These measures are designed to be more of a deterrent than they are designed to be enforced. Outside of Hawaii, none of the quarantine orders are enforced in any real way.

  2. Exactly what does this quarantine entail? I never leave the hotel room?

    And I could book, but then if my State is named the Tuesday before travel I need to cancel or quarantine?

  3. This is for NYC I’m not sure about Chicago, but it won’t be terribly difficult to track people. If they find enough people break the quarintine then I’m sure they will become even stricter.

    How the restrictions will work
    Each of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut will be responsible for its own enforcement of the quarantine. The states’ health commissioners will pursue an aggressive public relations campaign at airports, highways and other locations.

    In New York, Cuomo said, those violating the quarantine could be subject to a judicial order and mandatory quarantine, and fines are $2,000 for the first violation, $5,000 for the second violation, and $10,000 if you cause harm.

  4. Legally the city of Chicago (or north-eastern states) cannot prevent someone from traveling there. This is a way to make people think twice before doing it.

    @airfarer, first of all it entails you (or any other person) reevaluating your need to be in Chicago.

  5. Of, course, this only applies within the legal boundaries of Chicago, which are relatively small compared to the overall metro area. ORD, however, is within Chicago’s legal boundaries.

  6. Glad to see that Mayor Lightweight is trying to divert attention from the historic gun violence numbers.

    Now you have a holiday weekend and a heat wave? Trust me…Corona is the absolute least dangerous thing for the residents of Chicago.

  7. As @Anthony remarked this is designed as a deterrent as it’s impossible to enforce proper. With other states making similar requirements planning will be near on impossible.

  8. It’s not that difficult to enforce.

    In New York the way it works is that every person must give their address. The Police will spot check and randomly show up at the address to make sure you are there and not going out anywhere. If the Police show up and you’re not there, then you are in big trouble.

  9. What about flying to Chicago from outside the USA?
    Does the US have a federal mandatory quarantine at the moment?

  10. They don’t need to completly enforce it. Just publish in the news that 10 people where fined on a given weekend. That makes it more “real” for many. Same deal happened here in Canada. Cops gave many tickets so it helps keep people in line 🙂

  11. Easy way to divert the public’s attention from crime without solving any problems. Chicago’s police is woefully understaffed and they barely enforce any rules as it is (speed limits, thievery, vagrants, public drinking, etc) so its laughable to think they will have time to enforce this silly nonsense.

  12. The NY-NJ-CT quarantine order has an exception for people traveling through the area in less than 24 hours. Maybe the Chicago ban will have a similar travel exemption.

  13. People should automatically quatentine they should not have to be told yo do so… If they are that selfish they should not travel.
    This is a Health Crisis!
    In force the FINES if you do it to a few word will get around that states are serious about this..

  14. @Adam: “In New York the way it works is that every person must give their address.”

    To whom do you give your address? There are no checkpoints on highways into New York, as far as I know. Maybe at airports, but much travel is overland.

  15. BS quarantine. Are they going to make you wear a wrist or leg band or load a cell app that tracks your movements? Will they have contact tracers check in on you? No.

    The reason COVID is taking off in the US is because of half ass measures and zero follow-through by our useless “leaders.” The most effective message has been from Don John who got his mindless red hat wearing bots to think all is well when things are anything but well. Just look at pretty much every other proper country and see how to effectively manage this crisis.

  16. @Adam, you said “ In New York the way it works is that every person must give their address.“

    That is not a correct statement per New York State Health Department:

    The completion of the questionnaires is voluntary, said health department spokeswoman Jill Montag.

    “There are no penalties for passengers who don’t fill them out,” she said.

    These quarantines are unenforceable and complete theater.

  17. Questions, I travel to ORD (which is in Chicago) From DFW but I connect through SDF (Louisville) quarantine doesn’t apply then?

    I travel to ORD but I’m going to a Chicago suburb that isn’t quarantining, quarantine doesn’t apply? It’s just a quarantine for Chicago & not the state of Illinois! Good Luck with that!

  18. Sorry, but these state and city “quarantines” are nothing more than political grandstanding. “Look at how tough I am on COVID-19!” It’s complete nonsense.

    Government resources are currently pushed to the limit. Does anyone honestly think that Officer Krupke is going to go door-to-door to check and see if someone who just flew back from Las Vegas or LA is staying home or not?

  19. For goodness sakes if driving under the influence is illegal why it is legal to spread a pandemic. I get that people want to get out and live but, all those who have lost their lives don’t get that chance. WE are the only ones who can help to prevent the spread. This from the one. Who knows she is not invincible but vulnerable to this virus.

  20. Extremely difficult to enforce. Hawaii of course has been successful for obvious reasons. Meanwhile Europe is opening up. The U.K. announced free travel to/from numerous countries The US will be a pariah now. Hawaii could permit limited travel to /from New Zealand , Japan

  21. Just the number of responses here already shows how America and Americans have failed to control the problem.

    Rather argue about the legality or how to enforce.

    It should be about how many more city should we do this and what should trigger capital punishment.

    How embarrassing.
    USA accounts for 4% of world population but has 25% of global COVID case.
    Japan accounts for 1.5% of world population but has 0.2% of global COVID case.
    I’ll leave China out due to reporting reliability but to even match USA ratio they need to have 120 million infected, about 12x the current global number.

  22. Everyone complaining about enforcement: do you also commit other crimes if you think you can get away with it? Do you drive drunk just because there’s a good chance the police won’t stop you? People should be following this mandate not out of fear of punishment but because they realize the necessity of doing it to protect other people. Just like you hopefully wouldn’t drive drunk because you know you could kill someone.

  23. “85 shot, 24 fatally, over Chicago’s most violent weekend of 2020”

    And the police, who don’t even have time to investigate all of these shootings, will of course be going door to door to check and see if you are quarantining properly. Right….

  24. Makes absolutely no goddamned sense if they’re still going to let people from nightmare states *connect* through Chicago airports.

  25. “In New York, Cuomo said, those violating the quarantine could be subject to a judicial order and mandatory quarantine, and fines are $2,000 for the first violation, $5,000 for the second violation, and $10,000 if you cause harm.”

    I seem to remember a few months back that Cuomo was all up in arms about NYS residents being told that they had to self quarantine when they visited neighboring states (CT and MA, if I remember correctly). I guess it’s Ok for NYS to mandate a quarantine though. Cuomo is among the worst of the political hypocrites in this country.

  26. “This applies to individuals arriving in the city of Chicago, while they are in the city”

    So fly into ORD, then simply transfer to a hotel, AirBB, or personal home just outside the city limits, and this doesn’t apply to you anymore. Once that word gets out, and bookings drop at in-city properties, while increasing for ones just over the border, the in-city properties will start having ‘serious discussions’ with the Chicago administration. And as happened with the foie gras ban, where people drove over the city limits for dinner, until the in-city restaurants raised a fuss, this foolish security theatre will be quickly rescinded.

  27. as a chicagoan and chicago resident, EVERYONE needs to stop cancelling Mayor Lightfoot.

    she is not deflecting from violence

    she is not deflecting from racism, police brutality, and implicit biases

    she is not a fun-killer

    she is ACTIVELY trying to prevent Chicago and the state of IL from becoming another epicenter of the virus. it is VERY possible given that it is nice outside and a lot of people are at risk of contaminating each other from being able to go out for the first time in months, across all spectrums.

    PLEASE understand she is doing her best in spite of difficult circumstances. I must add, BLACK, GAY, FEMALE. these are three words you would have NEVER used in the past to describe the Mayor of Chicago.

    She is literally making history as we speak. People need to chill. Orders are implemented because our country is the laughingstock of the world and whereas other nations have fully recovered and re-opened, ours has gone in the opposite direction. Enough is enough.

  28. @Rohan

    We get it…she’s an intersectional wet dream.

    But she’s also INCOMPETENT and people (black people especially) are dying as a result and it has nothing to do with the virus.

  29. Thousands of citizens from all the US states are crossing the border illegally into Canada and will be bringing their Covid to us as a GIFT.

    Thank you but we have enough already.

    Please stay home. Please do not bring COVID TO CANADA.

  30. Reinforces how embarrassingly idiotic and xenophobic the Trump presidency is by still blocking Italians from traveling to the US when their rate of new infections is 0.37 per 100k (an a mere 1.15 per 100k in its “hotspot” region, Lombardy).

    No wonder the US is struggling. PLEASE DO NOT TRAVEL.

  31. “This applies to individuals arriving in the city of Chicago, while they are in the city”

    I have flight for MDW (which falls within Chicago city limit ) next week , but hotel I am staying is outside Chicago city limits ,, So technically does that apply to me ?

  32. If it gets to complicated the Federal government can step in according to the CDC guidelines on travel. They give to many mixed messages. We are not even in the second wave yet. Hope we don’t have another major outbreak. Healthcare suffer in the outbreaks overworked and mentally. We hardly have the pandemic under control and some states did not follow the guidelines for reopening.

  33. Travel is a fundamental right protected by the U.S Constitution. The simple and better approach would be to mandate masks and PPP gear, wash hands distance for those coming through all cities. This keeps the economy fluid and protects everyone. The idiocy to such wuarantine edicts is this: If a family who lives in Maine, a non hot spot, visits family in Georgia and then travels to Chicago the week after…they don’t have to quarantine? It would be much better if all just put a mask on, wash hands and social distance. Quarantining cities won’t work unless we all across the country stay home.

  34. All of these domestic travel restrictions are unconstitutional, but Trump is too apathetic to demand the Justice Department end these absurd unenforced rules.

  35. If I am travelling from California to ORD airport ( Chicago ) with negative pcr test done before 72 hours of departure to ORD , then continue travel internationally to Dubai after few hours from the same airport , does Quarantine of 14 days apply on my case ? Thank you

  36. I am flying out of Chicago to Las Vegas after a week I’m flying back into Chicago Midway leaving Chicago right from the airport heading out of Chicago completely so would I have to quarantine when I get back home

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