LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WWLP) – Massachusetts has been added to Connecticut’s COVID-19 travel advisory for the first time since the start of the pandemic.
Massachusetts residents traveling into Connecticut are now encouraged to fill out a travel form and quarantine for 14 days. According to the Connecticut State Department of Public Health, failure to submit this travel health form or to self-quarantine may result in a civil penalty of $500 for each such violation.
“I think if you’re traveling through by car to a specific destination and you keep your safety habits going when you arrive there and come back, that should be reasonable enough. I would like the states to corporate on that though,” said Jeanne Gleason of West Springfield.
Connecticut’s travel ban affects any state with a positive case rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents.
The 14-day mandatory quarantine does not apply to anyone who will remain in Connecticut for less than 24 hours, so it does not affect most daily commuters between western Massachusetts and Connecticut. Essential workers traveling to Connecticut for more than 24 hours are also exempt from quarantine requirements, but must still fill out a travel form which you can find on their website.
According to Connecticut’s state website, the requirement to self-quarantine and complete the Travel Health Form is applicable to any traveler who has spent 24 hours or longer in an affected state or an affected country within 14 days prior to arriving in Connecticut but does not include an individual remaining in Connecticut for less than 24 hours. These requirements are also applicable to Connecticut residents who are returning from a visit to an affected state or an affected country.
Residents of both states hope this advisory doesn’t last too long so people can still take trips during the warmer months.
“Especially for the small businesses. A lot of the businesses in the tri state area all work together. So if you keep telling someone, ‘hey, you can’t spend more than 24 hours in a certain area,’ it may end up impacting our economy as well,” said Nicole Green of Ellington, Connecticut.
Kyle Plucker, who works in Massachusetts but lives in Connecticut told 22News, “We already had a summer of not doing much already, so I hope it doesn’t last too long but we’ll see how it goes.”
If you are traveling to Connecticut and plan to stay in a hotel or bed and breakfast, you may quarantine there. Residents can also skip the mandatory quarantine period if they can present a negative COVID-19 test from 72 hours prior to arriving in Connecticut.
An Affected Traveler is a person entering into Connecticut after spending 24 hours or longer in one of the Affected States or Affected Countries within 14 days prior to arriving in Connecticut and who is staying in Connecticut for 24 hours or longer. To control the spread of COVID-19 in Connecticut, all Affected Travelers are required to (1) complete the “Connecticut Travel Health Form” and (2) self-quarantine for a period of 14 days from the time of last contact with an Affected State or Affected Country, for any portion of such 14 day period they spend in Connecticut, or for the duration of such travelers’ stay in Connecticut, whichever is shorter, unless a traveler qualifies for an exemption from the requirement to self-quarantine.
The following is the list of Affected States: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.
An Affected Country is a country for which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 3 Travel Health Notice.