Governor Baker Imposes New COVID-19 Travel Restrictions to Begin Aug 1

BOSTON – Governor Charlie Baker has announced that all visitors and returning residents entering Massachusetts must follow new travel orders, beginning on August 1.

All visitors entering the state, including residents are required to complete the Massachusetts Travel Form prior to arrival, unless they are visiting from a lower-risk state designated by the Department of Public Health.

They also have to quarantine for 14 days or produce a negative COVID-19 test result that has been administered up to 72 hours prior to arrival in the state.

Failure to comply with the new rules could result in a $500 fine.

Everyone entering the state who is over the age of 18 or are an unaccompanied minor, must complete and submit the online travel form unless they meet exemptions that include:

  • Lower-risk State: individuals coming from a COVID-19 lower-risk state. They include Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont
  • Transitory travel: This includes people who are passing through Massachusetts and permits travelers to drive through the State or to connect to their airplane, bus or train, or to stop at a highway rest stop, but 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: People who regularly commute, at least weekly, outside of Massachusetts to a fixed place to attend school or work or any person who regularly commutes, at least weekly into Massachusetts to a fixed place to attend school or work; provided that in either case, this exception applies only to and from the person’s residence and place of work or school. Workers or students who travel to any place that is not their home state for personal or leisure reasons cannot rely on this exemption.
  • Patients Seeking or Receiving Medical Treatment: Patients who are traveling to Massachusetts to seek or receive specialized medical care from a physician located in the Commonwealth and persons 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.

For more information on the Governor’s new COVID-19 travel order, click here.

 

Below is a press release from the Baker-Polito Administration

Governor Charlie Baker announced that effective August 1st,  all travelers entering the Commonwealth, including both out of state residents and Massachusetts residents returning home, will be required to comply with a new travel order. The travel order and other information is available at www.mass.gov/MAtraveler.

Travel Order: Starting August 1, all visitors and Massachusetts residents returning home, including students returning to campuses for the fall semester, must fill out a “Massachusetts Travel Form” and quarantine for 14 days unless they are coming from a COVID-19 lower risk state or they can produce a negative COVID-19 test result administered no more than 72 hours prior to arriving in Massachusetts, or they are included in one of the other, limited exemptions.

Individuals who get a test must remain in quarantine until they receive their negative test results. Failure to comply may result in a $500 fine per day.

Travelers are exempt from this requirement if they are coming from a state that has been designated by the Department of Public Health as a lower risk COVID-19 state or fall into another narrow exemption category.

Based on current public health data, those lower risk states will include: New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maine, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire and Hawaii.

Traveler exemptions include people passing through the state, people commuting across state lines for work, people traveling to Massachusetts for medical treatment, people complying with military orders, or people traveling to work in federally designated critical infrastructure sectors (essential services).

Prior to travel, people should visit www.mass.gov/MAtraveler to fill out the “Massachusetts Travel Form” or text “MATraveler” to 888-777.

The list of lower risk states is subject to change based on public health data, and states may be added or taken off the list at any time.

The Administration also announced updates to the Commonwealth’s COVID-19 Mandatory Safety Standards for Workplaces to incorporate the requirements of the travel order. This included sector-specific updates for lodging, higher education, office spaces and other industry sectors.

Updated guidance: The Administration today updated guidance for lodging, offices, manufacturing, construction, labs, performance venues and indoor and outdoor events relative to the travel order. In addition, lodging operators are required to notify guests about this new travel order.

Employers are strongly discouraged from allowing business-related travel to destinations other than those appearing on the list of COVID-19 lower risk states. Employers that permit employer-paid or -reimbursed travel to those states should take measures to ensure employees comply with this order. Employers are also urged to strongly discourage their employees from taking leisure travel to destinations not included on the list of COVID-19 lower-risk states.  

To read the updated guidance, click here.

All travelers and residents are required to continue to follow the Administration’s order that requires face coverings, and practice good hygiene, social distancing and regular hand washing. People should not travel to Massachusetts if they have symptoms of COVID-19. Travelers will be informed of this order and new travel guidance by airlines, passenger rail corporations, bus companies and some major travel agents when booking trips and before arrival in Massachusetts.

For more information, please visit mass.gov/MATraveler or text “MATraveler” to 888-777.

About Justin Saunders

Justin Saunders has nearly 10 years of experience in radio, television, online and newspaper journalism across the US and Canada. Justin joined the CapeCod.com NewsCenter in May 2014 and continues to help provide coverage of the Cape and Islands.



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