NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- There are new details on what you should do if you plan to travel out of New York and back. The option to "test out" of having to quarantine for two weeks starts Wednesday, but visitors can get the ball rolling right now.
Haida Holscher of Hell's Kitchen waited in the cold Monday to take a COVID-19 test ahead of flying to California for a week.
"For the people I'm going to see and anybody I come in contact with, really. I think it's important to get tested," Holscher told CBS2's Lisa Rozner.
Under a new policy Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced this weekend, Holscher can take a test midway through her trip to California to start the process of returning home and avoiding a 14-day quarantine in New York.
Here's how it works:
- Within the 72 hours leading up to your departure back to New York you must get a COVID-19 test.
- Then, upon arriving here, you must quarantine for three days.
- On the fourth day, you must get a second test.
- If both tests are negative, you do not have to quarantine.
The quarantine and "test out" processes are required for all travelers except trips that originated in neighboring states -- New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Vermont.
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Rozner asked the governor by phone Monday, "Is there a way the state will keep track of this? Or is this, again, really more of an honor system?"
"No, we keep track of it," Cuomo replied. "First, there are personnel in the airport. Your test is entered into what they call the 'Comcare System,' which is then monitored by the local health departments."
He said the second test gets reported to the Department of Health.
For Tyra Willer of Hell's Kitchen, it means not having to miss work when she returns from seeing family in Texas over Christmas.
"If I could just take a test to prove that, it would be a lot more beneficial," Willer said.
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Representatives fo the governors of New Jersey and Connecticut told Rozner that the policies for visitors to those states have not changed.
New Yorkers making quick trips -- less than 24 hours outside the area -- don't need to test before heading back. However, they are required to take a test four days after arriving in New York.
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