SANTA FE (KSMX)- Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham and state officials have issued a mandatory health advisory where anyone crossing a border into the state must quarantine for 14 days to protect against the spread of COVID-19.
According to the NMDOH, businesses and law enforcement agencies are strictly enforcing the following restrictions for in and out of state travelers. Below you will find some frequently asked questions and answers:
- Are the borders closed in New Mexico? No. The surrounding borders are not closed. State roads remain open.
- Will travelers with out of state plates be stopped by law enforcement or turned away at the borders? No. Unless law enforcement has reason to believe you are breaking the law or not adhering to the health advisory, you will not be stopped or forced to leave the state.
- Does everyone in New Mexico have to wear a mask? Yes. Mask-wearing is mandatory in public for all individuals over the age of two, except when eating, drinking or exercising.
- Is there a punishment if I choose not to wear a mask? Yes. If caught without a mask in public, you are subject to a $100 fine.
- What if I live in New Mexico and I want to travel out of state? Do I have to self-quarantine when I return? The mandatory health advisory is very clear. If you cross over the borders of New Mexico, you must self-quarantine for 14 days when you return home.
- Are there any exceptions to the quarantine order? Yes. Persons who are employed or contracted by an essential business traveling into the state to conduct business activities, persons employed by airlines, those performing public safety or public health functions, military personnel, federal employees, those employed by a federal agency or national defense contractor, emergency first responders, health care workers, those arriving in the state pursuant to a court order do not have to quarantine for 14 days or for the duration of their time in the state, whichever is shorter, though all should follow COVID-safe best practices: Wear a face-covering in public and keep physical distance from others and limit travel outside of the home or place of lodging to only the essentials.
- What if I take my family camping in a different state and we spend our time outdoors, away from other people, adhering to social distancing? Do we all have to self-quarantine when we return? Yes. Even if you spend time outdoors, wearing masks and social distancing in another state, you must self-quarantine when you return to New Mexico for 14 days.
- Do out of state visitors have to self-quarantine even if they own a home in New Mexico? Yes. If visitors or part-time residents plan to stay in New Mexico longer than two weeks for any reason, you must self-quarantine for the first 14 days when coming in from another state. If you are staying in New Mexico for fewer than two weeks, you also must self-quarantine for the duration of your stay or up to 14 days, whichever is shorter. (For example, if you plan to stay at a hotel for two nights before leaving the state, you must self-quarantine for the duration of your stay.)
- Does that apply to people in RVs as well? Yes. Travelers must self-quarantine wherever they are staying. What if travelers are simply passing through New Mexico to get to another destination in a different state? This is not a time to shop for souvenirs, visit state parks or sightsee. Please recognize that if you are traveling amid a global pandemic you are bringing the risk of a highly contagious and lethal virus with you and taking it with you as you go. You must wear a face-covering if you are in public while in the state. Please limit your activities to only the essentials.
- What if I’m a trucker and have to make deliveries in New Mexico? Most trucking services fall under the logistical transporting functions incorporated in the essential businesses of the state’s operative emergency public health order and are exempt from the quarantine requirement. But all visitors in the state are still required to wear face-coverings and follow COVID-safe best practices.