BOSTON (WPRI) — New travel restrictions in Massachusetts take effect at midnight on Aug. 1 and those found to be in violation could face a fine.
Last week, Gov. Charlie Baker announced a new executive order stating anyone entering Massachusetts from a state considered high-risk for COVID-19 will have to fill out a travel form prior to arrival.
Unless exempt from the order, both visitors from out-of-state and Massachusetts residents returning home would have to quarantine for 14 days or produce a negative COVID-19 test result administered within the previous 72 hours.
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As of July 21, states deemed low-risk include Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont.
States are included on the list based on meeting two criteria: average daily cases below 6 per 100,000 people and positive test rate below 5%, both measured as a seven-day rolling average. Therefore, the list of low-risk states could change depending on how the public health data evolves.
Other exceptions to the 14-day quarantine include:
- Transitory travel: This includes people passing through Massachusetts and allows travelers to drive through the state or to connect to their airplane, bus or train, or to stop at a highway rest stop. Guidance from the state says this exception extends “only so long as is reasonably required for the traveler to complete their transit, make any necessary airplane, bus, or train connection, or make use of travel services such as at a highway rest stop.”
- Persons Commuting for Work or School: This includes people who regularly commute, at least weekly, outside of Massachusetts to a fixed place to attend school or work. The exception applies only to and from the person’s residence and place of work or school.
- Patients Seeking or Receiving Medical Treatment: This includes patients who are traveling to Massachusetts to seek or receive specialized medical care from a physician, as well as those who are accompanying and providing needed support to the patient.
- Military Personnel: Any person who is required to travel to Massachusetts at the order or directive of a Federal or State military authority.
- Workers Providing Critical Infrastructure Services: Workers who enter Massachusetts to perform critical infrastructure functions as specified in Version 3.1 of the listing published by the Federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency are exempt from quarantine while they are commuting to or from or while at work. For the first 14-days after arrival, when the worker is not at work or commuting to work they must quarantine. Additional information may be found here. Workers who travel to or from Massachusetts for personal or leisure reasons cannot rely on this exemption.
Baker’s executive order states those who don’t comply with the quarantine are at risk of being fined $500 per day of violation.
A traveler may choose to leave Massachusetts before the completion of his or her 14-day quarantine.