OLYMPIA, Wash. — Gov. Jay Inslee issued an emergency proclamation Monday updating COVID-19 quarantine requirements for travelers flying to Washington from outside the United States.
Under the emergency proclamation, international travelers coming to Washington state must comply with requirements ordered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC requires anyone traveling from outside the country to provide a negative COVID-19 test within three days of travel or show proof of recovery from COVID-19.
The emergency order amends Proclamation 20-83, which required air passengers coming from countries where new variants of COVID-19 were detected to quarantine for 14 days upon arriving in Washington state.
Washington state’s advisory for other types of travel within the U.S. is still in place.
In November, Inslee issued a travel advisory urging anyone entering Washington state to self-quarantine for 14 days to slow the spread of COVID-19. The governors of Oregon and California also issued similar advisories.
The advisory urges the public to avoid non-essential out-of-state travel and encourage residents to stay close to home. The advisory defines essential travel “as travel for work and study, critical infrastructure support, economic services and supply chains, health, immediate medical care, and safety and security.”
However, the advisory is a recommendation and not a mandate, and there is little way to enforce it.
The Travel Security Administration (TSA) announced Tuesday their continued efforts to maintain as much social distance as possible during travel screenings in airports as the nation works to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
The announcement comes ahead of the spring break travel season, when the agency anticipates seeing a spike in travel. While the TSA said they do expect traveler numbers to remain lower than they were before the pandemic during this time of year, the agency does expect to see the numbers go up.
The TSA said agency workers have seen success so far with "near-100 percent compliance at airport checkpoints and authorities have reported the same throughout the surface and rail transportation modes."