PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut are doing well in terms of getting people vaccinated against COVID-19, but the pandemic is far from over.

With cases spiking locally and around the country, new rules and regulations are being put in place to help mitigate the spread of the virus.

Here’s what you need to know for all three states:

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Rhode Island

Do I need to wear a mask?

Rhode Island no longer has a statewide indoor mask mandate, but in mid-December, Gov. Dan McKee enacted new policies that require many establishments to choose between having patrons wear masks or provide proof of vaccination.

Those policies cover offices, manufacturers and indoor venues with a capacity of fewer than 250 people. McKee said masks are required for larger indoor venues with a capacity of 250 or more.

Masks must also be worn on all forms of public transportation and in K-12 schools.

Do I need to show proof of vaccination?

It’s up to an individual establishment whether they want to require proof of vaccination or universal masking. Some venues like PPAC require both.

The state has updated its Crush COVID smartphone app to give users a virtual vaccination card, so they no longer have to carry around the paper version.

Are stores and restaurants restricted?

The state removed restrictions for most businesses and services earlier this year, including the capacity limits and social distancing requirement, but establishments may have their own set of rules in place.

Do I need to get tested?

Anyone traveling to Rhode Island from another state or US territory is not required to quarantine or get tested, regardless of vaccination status. The R.I. Department of Health does, however, recommend those who are not fully vaccinated to get tested before and after travel.

The state offers free testing and vaccinations for visitors.

International travelers are required by the CDC to provide a negative COVID-19 test result upon arrival in the US.

Do I need a reservation for restaurants and bars?

The most recent guidance says reservations are encouraged, but not required. It’s best to call ahead to find out how a specific restaurant or bar is handling its seating.


Do I need to wear a mask?

The Mass. Department of Public Health now advises all residents, regardless of vaccination status, to wear masks when indoors in public.

People who are unvaccinated or at higher risk of severe illness are especially encouraged to mask up.

In Boston, an indoor mask mandate for many businesses goes into effect Jan. 15.

Do I need to show proof of vaccination?

Starting Jan. 15, patrons entering restaurants, bars and other businesses in Boston will have to show they’ve gotten at least one dose of the vaccine, then proof of full vaccination beginning Feb. 15.

Other communities and individual establishments may follow suit, or put their own set of rules in place.

Do I need to get tested?

Per the CDC’s guidance, travelers who are not vaccinated are advised to get tested before and after their trips, but there is no testing mandate in place at this time.

Are stores and restaurants restricted?

No. All industries can operate at 100% capacity and the social gathering limit is no longer in effect.

Do I need a reservation for restaurants and bars?

Under the current protocols, reservations and call-ahead seating is encouraged, but not required. Restaurants and bars are also asked to take down the contact information of someone in the party in case contact-tracing is necessary.


Do I need to wear a mask?

People who are fully vaccinated do not have to wear a mask unless they’re in a place that requires them, such as schools, hospitals and nursing homes. People who are not vaccinated must wear a mask indoors, but they’re not required outdoors.

Are stores and restaurants still restricted?

All businesses and services are fully open at this time.

Do I need to show proof of vaccination?

Like Rhode Island and Massachusetts, Connecticut is not requiring so-called “vaccine passports.”

Do I need to get tested?

People who are fully vaccinated, meaning they’re two weeks removed from their final dose, do not have to get tested before or after travel, unless they’re doing so internationally.

Below is the travel guidance for people who are not vaccinated:

Before Travel

  • Plan ahead and check if your airline or destination requires testing, health information, or other documentation.
  • Some destinations require a viral test 1-3 days prior to travel. Visit the Connecticut Testing Locator or call 211 to locate a testing site.
  • Keep a copy of your test results with you during travel in case you are asked for them.
  • Anyone who develops signs/symptoms of COVID-19 prior to travel should stay home and get tested.

After Travel

  • Review CDC guidance for post-travel quarantine and testing
  • Get tested 3-5 days after travel AND self-quarantine at home for a full 7 days after travel.
    • Continue to stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days after travel, even if your test is negative.
    • If your test is positive, isolate yourself to protect others from getting infected.
  • If you do not get tested, stay home and self-quarantine for a full 10 days after travel.
  • Remember to self-monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 while in quarantine. If at any time during your quarantine you develop signs and symptoms of COVID-19, self-isolate (including away from other members of your travel party), contact a healthcare provider, and seek testing.

Do I need a reservation for restaurants and bars?

No, but some establishments may still require patrons to call ahead or reserve a table online.

While there’s no longer a capacity limit for restaurants, parties can have no more than eight people per table and dining rooms must close by midnight.