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CDPH Updates Travel Advisory to Revise the Recommended Quarantine Period Following Interstate and International Travel and to Warn Against Non-Essential Intrastate Travel

On January 6, 2021, the California Department of Public Health updated its November 13, 2020 travel advisory concerning non-essential interstate travel and the quarantine period for individuals who engage in such travel.

The new CDPH guidance makes two important changes to its prior travel advisory including: (1) reducing the recommended self-quarantine period from 14 to 10 days for individuals who travel to California from other states and countries; and (2) expanding the scope of its recommendation against non-essential international and interstate to also include certain intrastate travel.

CDPH’s reduction of the recommended quarantine period for individuals who engage in interstate and international travel is consistent with December 2 guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on the same subject. In that guidance, the CDC recommends that travelers reduce non-essential activities for 10 days following travel, consider getting tested for COVID-19 3-5 days after the trip and observe other COVID-19-related health and safety measures.

The CDPH guidance also expands the advisory against non-essential international and intrastate travel to include intrastate travel of more than 120 miles from the individual’s home or place of residence. Many local public health authorities now require that travelers from outside their county or region observe mandatory self-quarantines upon their arrival in the jurisdiction.

While the new CDPH guidance remains advisory in nature and therefore imposes no new requirements on employers concerning employee travel, employers should be familiar with the changes described above. Furthermore, employers should remember to follow all applicable local health orders, including those that may restrict non-essential international, interstate or intrastate travel or that require a mandatory quarantine period for individuals who engage in such travel.