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Brooklyn is one of New York’s most visited cities. During the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, the outbreak’s wrath had New York as its focal point. To try and flatten the COVID-19 growth curve, Brooklyn, among other cities in New York, was shut down for months, but the city has since opened up again – for visitors and residents.
While many Americans opted not to travel during the recent holiday season, the breaks from schools and winter holidays made people take some time away from home even as coronavirus cases continue to surge. Making such a choice may require you to quarantine before leaving and after getting back.
For those planning to travel to Brooklyn, they should not worry about the safety at the hotels; rest assured that hygiene and safety protocols are being observed to the latter.
Here is what you need to do if you’re contemplating a trip
Check New York’s travel restrictions
Travelers from out of New York State planning to visit Brooklyn must test negative for the coronavirus within three days before they depart from their country or home state. Once in Brooklyn, they must take another COVID-19 test after being in quarantine for three days. If you choose not to get tested, then you have to remain in quarantine for 10 days while being monitored for symptoms.
Brooklyn dwellers who leave for not more than 24 hours must get a COVID test within four days after returning. If needed, Ready Responders can provide one of their PCR tests in the comfort of your own home. To ensure compliance and remind travelers, checkpoints have been implemented at various points of arrival into the city. Of importance to note, visitors may also have to be provided with a traveler health form at short term rentals and hotels.
If you’re flying, it’s possible to get infected while in transit. Since 40% of people who test positive for coronavirus may never show symptoms, it’s always important to consider taking reliable COVID-19 tests. Also, remember to always wear your mask even if you test negative for the virus.
Secure essentials to prepare for quarantine
Before traveling, ensure you have a home shopping quarantine kit. You may have to stock up with hygiene products, groceries, and other essentials if you have to go into quarantine. After all, having plenty of shelf staples in your kitchen never hurts. You can set up deliveries with online services to secure an advance delivery time by using services such as AmazonFresh, Instacart, and Shipt to have your groceries delivered once you return. You could also use food delivery apps like Uber Eats, DoorDash, and Grubhub, which are readily available all over Brooklyn.
Check your employer’s requirements
To keep workplaces safe, employers are taking certain precautions during the pandemic. If you have been traveling and shared a workplace, you need to get information from your employer about what is expected upon returning. Based on information from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, employees may be required to quarantine at home until confirmed negative for coronavirus after having traveled to locations flagged by local health officials or C.D.C. Employees who have traveled outside New York State must quarantine for two weeks at home before returning to work. However, if they are asymptomatic and test negative after taking a COVID test after day seven of quarantine, they can cut that period short.
In March, the federal government passed an emergency measure of paid sick leave to cushion employees under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. With this in mind, it would be important to ask your employer if post-travel quarantine falls under this cover.
Have a contingency plan in place
Finally, in case you must take essential travel, it’s important to prepare for any uncertainties such as contracting the virus during your trip. If you happen to fall ill while sharing a household with others, self-isolate in one room. Meals and other essentials can be placed outside your door to prevent spreading the virus further. If possible, designate one bathroom for yourself.
If there’s no sufficient room for self-isolation, you can separate from others as much as possible during the entire quarantine period. Try to disinfect shared surfaces such as bathroom sinks and kitchen counters, maintain about 1.5 meters six feet of distance, and open the windows to enhance the circulation of fresh air. Need to share a room with someone else? According to the C.D.C. recommendations, you should place a divider such as a quilt or a shower curtain in between and sleep in inverse directions.