Do I need a mask? Proof of vaccination? Here’s what you need to know for RI, MA, CT


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — With miles of beautiful coastline and countless restaurants, shops and historical landmarks, Southern New England is always a tourist destination come summertime.

Since what you can and can’t do varies by state, here’s a look at the guidance for travelers in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut:

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Rhode Island

Do I need to wear a mask?

Rhode Island lifted its mask mandate on May 18 for people who are fully vaccinated, but even those people should keep their face coverings handy since they’re still required in some settings such as nursing homes, businesses that request they be worn, and on public transportation.

Both vaccinated and unvaccinated people are no longer required to wear masks while outside, including youths. The end of the outdoor mask requirement applies to all ages and settings, including outdoor live performances, youth sports and summer camps, according to the R.I. Department of Health.

Are stores and restaurants still restricted?

The state removed restrictions for most businesses and services on May 21, including the capacity limits and social distancing requirement. However, Gov. Dan McKee said businesses can transition back to normal at their own pace and asked patrons to respect that.

Additionally, sectors that are still restricted like nightclubs and hookah lounges can start operating at full capacity, as long as they require proof of vaccination for entry.

Do I need to show proof of vaccination?

Unlike some other states, Rhode Island does not require so-called “vaccine passports.” But, as noted above, some businesses and services may require customers to show proof.

Do I need to get tested?

People who are fully vaccinated, meaning they’re at least two weeks removed from their final dose, do not need to quarantine or get tested upon arrival in Rhode Island.

Anyone who isn’t vaccinated and travels to Rhode Island from a “hot spot” state or a location outside the country must quarantine for 10 days or show proof of a negative coronavirus test taken within 72 hours of arrival or after arrival.

Travelers also have the option of getting vaccinated in Rhode Island, since the residency requirement has been removed.

Do I need a reservation for restaurants and bars?

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

What about beaches?

All of Rhode Island’s state beaches and parks are now open at full capacity.

People who are not fully vaccinated are told to wear a mask when indoors or within three feet of others, such as at the snack bar.

To keep the lines down, the state asks that people buy parking passes online before heading to the beach.


Do I need to wear a mask?

Massachusetts’ face covering order was replaced by a face covering advisory on May 29.

Unvaccinated people are advised to continue wearing masks and social distancing, but those who are fully vaccinated no longer need to do so in most public settings.

Masks are still required for anyone using public transportation or visiting health care facilities and nursing homes.

Are stores and restaurants still restricted?

No. All industries are now able to operate at 100% capacity and the social gathering limit has been rescinded.

Do I need to show proof of vaccination?

Like Rhode Island, Massachusetts will not require “vaccine passports.”

Travelers who are fully vaccinated and not displaying any COVID-19 symptoms do not need to quarantine upon entering the state.

Do I need to get tested?

All visitors and returning residents who are not vaccinated are advised to quarantine for 10 days upon arrival in Massachusetts, unless proof of a negative test is provided.

Anyone entering the state for less than 24 hours is also exempt from the travel advisory.

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?

Gov. Ned Lamont updated the state’s face covering requirements on May 19, saying they’re no longer required outdoors. Masks must be worn by people who are not fully vaccinated in indoor public spaces, and by everyone in certain settings such as health care centers and schools.

Are stores and restaurants still restricted?

Connecticut has fully reopened all businesses and services.

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.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.



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