As the production and distribution of the three currently approved COVID vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Janssen/ Johnson & Johnson) continues to improve and the pace of individuals being vaccinated increases, President Biden is expected to soon announce that ALL U.S. adults will be eligible for vaccinations by April 19, 2021. Governor Murphy just announced that, effective April 19, all individuals 16 and older will be eligible for vaccination.
New Jersey continues to strongly discourage all non-essential travel; however, in light of the increase in vaccinations, the State has just updated its travel and quarantine guidelines to reflect new recommendations from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If one must travel, New Jersey is no longer advising fully vaccinated individuals (or have recovered from COVID-19 in the past three months), who travel domestically, to self-quarantine after their trip or to get tested before and after travel, unless their destination requires it.
A fully vaccinated person is one who fits into one of the following categories:
- It has been more than two weeks since you received your second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine; or
- It has been more than two weeks since you received your first and only dose of the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Fully vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers should still follow the CDC’s recommendations for traveling safely including wearing a mask, social distancing (6 feet), avoiding crowds, washing hands often and using hand sanitizer. If you travel internationally, the federal requirement for testing upon return to the United States is still in effect for both unvaccinated and fully vaccinated travelers.
- If travel is unavoidable, travelers should consider getting tested with a viral test (not an antibody test) 1-3 days before the trip and again 3-5 days after the trip.
- If travelers test positive, they should self-isolate for at least 10 days and should postpone travel during that time.
- If travelers test negative, they should quarantine for a 7 days after travel.
- If testing is not available (or if the results are delayed), travelers should quarantine for 10 days after travel.
- Maintain proper social distancing within their facilities;
- Require face coverings by employees and customers;
- Limit occupancy capacity to 50%;
- Frequently sanitize high touch areas of the showroom and service areas; and
- Sanitize vehicles before and after service, test drives and upon delivery
This means employees who have not been vaccinated or who have not recovered from COVID may be required to quarantine upon return from out-of-state travel. Employers are not free to restrict employee travel off the job, but must follow CDC and OSHA guidelines concerning quarantine and advise employees who decide to travel that they must take time off to quarantine. Whether these employees will be eligible for paid time off or some form of State or federal COVID relief compensation will depend on the policies defined in the dealership’s employee handbook and other factors.
For additional information on New Jersey’s travel advisory click HERE.
For additional information on the CDC guidelines click HERE.