Raimondo issues new travel restrictions as RI enters Phase 3; 4 more COVID-19 deaths reported

Coronavirus

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Rhode Island moved into Phase 3 of reopening on Tuesday, which means new restrictions are now in place for those traveling to the state.

Gov. Gina Raimondo announced during her briefing on Monday that in order to prioritize health and safety, there will be a mandatory 14-day quarantine for anyone coming to Rhode Island from any state with a daily positivity rate of 5% or greater.

Raimondo acknowledged that this will be difficult to enforce, but said she’s working with travel groups and the tourism industry to make it work.

“I want folks to come and spend money in our restaurants and enjoy our beaches, as long as they follow our rules,” Raimondo said.

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There are 23 states, along with Puerto Rico, that fall into that category. The list can be found here and will be updated weekly.

Anyone who’s had a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours is exempt from the mandatory quarantine, according to Raimondo.

Rhode Islanders returning home from a state with a 5% or greater positivity rate must also quarantine for 14 days, the exception being those who’ve signed up for an asymptomatic test and received negative results.

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Related: Mass. Gov. Charlie Baker announces new travel guidelines »

Raimondo’s executive order on following the state’s quarantine and isolation guidance has been extended through at least Aug. 3.

All of this comes just as T.F. Green Airport announces passenger volume is nearing 20% of pre-COVID-19 levels, reflecting trends seen at other airports throughout the nation.

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On Tuesday, the R.I. Department of Health reported four more Rhode Islanders died after contracting COVID-19, bringing the total to 950.

RIDOH also announced 36 new cases out of 3,570 more tests conducted for a daily positivity rate of 1%.

The number of COVID-19 patients in the hospital climbed to 74 (from 73 on Monday), according to RIDOH, however, the number of patients in the ICU and on ventilators fell to 13 (from 15 and 14, respectively).

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