Massachusetts enacts travel restrictions on nearby states

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NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Massachusetts has imposed travel restrictions on most neighboring states, but how are those restrictions enforced?

Travel forms and quarantine periods are all things almost everyone has heard of by now, but who do they apply to? Well it depends where you go.

As COVID-19 cases continue to surge in Massachusetts, so do the number of travel restrictions in the state and in the states that border the commonwealth.

Residents planning to spend more than 24 hours in bordering states such as Connecticut and Vermont must quarantine in that state or show a negative COVID-19 test result.

  • Travel Advisory for Visitors to Connecticut
    • Anyone traveling into Connecticut from Massachusetts are directed to self-quarantine for a 14-day period from the time of last contact within Massachusetts.
  • Travel Advisory for Visitors to Vermont
    • If you are visiting Vermont you must quarantine for 14 days, once you arrive. This includes students coming home to Vermont for a college break or holiday. If you have not had any symptoms of COVID-19, you have the option to get a PCR test on or after day 7 of quarantine and end your quarantine with a negative test result. 
  • Travel Advisory for Visitors to Maine
    • Massachusetts travelers going to Maine will have to quarantine for two weeks. To avoid quarantine, travelers must produce a recent negative COVID-19 test. These newer restrictions affect both Massachusetts travelers, and Maine residents traveling back from Massachusetts.

If you are entering Massachusetts you are required to quarantine for 14 days from the date of arrival in Massachusetts unless you meet the following criteria:

  • Lower-risk State: This includes individuals coming from a COVID-19 lower-risk state within the United States, as detailed above.
  • 72-hour Testing Rule: The individual can produce, upon request, proof of a negative test result for COVID-19 from a test administered on a sample taken no longer than 72 hours before your arrival in Massachusetts.
  • 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. Additional information may be found here: https://www.cisa.gov/publication/guidance-essential-critical-infrastructure-workforce. Workers who travel to or from Massachusetts for personal or leisure reasons cannot rely on this exemption.

Individuals who do not comply with their obligation to quarantine are subject to a $500 fine per day.

Lower-risk States

Some residents think these travel orders are necessary to stop the spread.

One resident told 22News, “I see a lot more people traveling and getting COVID. It can definitely have some hurdles but I think it is necessary.”

While some individuals like Northampton resident Joseph Jacob, think otherwise.

“They tell us we can be around each other in our own community, but can’t travel? Which kind of doesn’t make sense because we don’t know where people have been in our own backyards let alone what’s going on in another state,” said Jacob.

For an update on where each state stands on their perspective travel orders you can always find the latest information on that state Department of Public Health website.

Coronavirus in Massachusetts

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