At this point in the pandemic, it’s clear that we’re still a ways from normal life as we know it. And no matter what the quarantine rules are where you live (even if they’re being relaxed), COVID-19 safety rules are bound to be in place around the country and world into the immediate future. And they vary quite a bit. So if you move locations, don’t forget to research the local quarantine rules before leaving. And then, take them seriously—or you may face serious consequences.
Two recent stories illustrate what can happen to people who don’t follow quarantine rules:
- A 44-year-old American FedEx pilot was sentenced to four weeks in jail for “leaving his hotel room for three hours to buy masks and a thermometer,” per ABC.com.
- A 23-year-old New Yorker was arrested in Hawaii “after he posted beach pictures on Instagram when he was supposed to be in quarantine,” per CNN.com. The man broke Hawaii’s 14-day quarantine rule, which we wrote about here.
By abiding by the rules in place and taking simple precautions (like wearing a face mask outside), you’re helping to stop the spread of COVID-19. And if that’s not enough, you’re avoiding possible legal trouble at the same time.
How to find out what the local quarantine rules are
On our coronavirus resource page for travelers, we’ve rounded up a ton of news stories on the latest quarantine rules in a number of states and countries. And because COVID-19 is such a big deal, a Google search for “[place name] + quarantine rules” is bound to turn up good information. Lean into caution, in any case, using the CDC’s social distancing rules (below) as a default. Here are a few more resources to help:
- USA TODAY‘s guide to quarantine rules by state
- The CDC’s guide to the hierarchy of legal authority in quarantine matters
- The CDC’s social distancing guidelines
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