UPDATE: Effective 12:01am on October 17, California, Hawaii, New Jersey, and Washington state will have been removed from the higher risk state list for MA’s travel order.
Travelers arriving from these four states will no longer need to fill out the MA Travel Form and follow quarantine rules under the travel order.
On Aug. 1, Governor Charlie Baker’s travel order went into effect, requiring all visitors to Massachusetts and residents returning from out of state to get a negative coronavirus test or quarantine for 14 days.
“Every traveler coming to Massachusetts, no matter where they’re from, has a responsibility to help keep COVID-19 out of the Commonwealth,” Baker said.
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.— Baker-Polito Administration
“I feel like it’s kind of frustrating because I’m so young and this is like the best time when I can get the time off I can go everywhere, flights are really cheap but I get it, it’s a little frustrating but I’m not angry about it,” said Samya DeAndre of Brockton.
According to Mass.gov, states are included on the lower-risk list based on meeting two criteria: average daily cases per 100K below six and positive test rate below 5%, both measured as a 7-day rolling average.
This order does not apply to travelers coming from a state that has been designated as a “lower risk COVID-19 state.”
On Aug. 29. Colorado, Delaware, Pennsylvania and West Virginia were added to the list of lower-risk states. Also on the list are Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York and Vermont.
The list originally included Rhode Island and Hawaii, but rising infection rates prompted their removal.
The list, which changes weekly depending on health data, changed once again on Sept. 25 where officials announced Oregon would no longer be considered a “low-risk” state. Last week, Wisconsin and Wyoming were also removed from that list.
The current list of COVID-19 lower-risk states includes:
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New York
If you are traveling from a state not listed above, you must fill out the “Massachusetts Travel Form” or text “MATraveler” to 888-777.
“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). "
When asked why the state was ramping up travel restrictions now, the governor said it has to do with the amount of interstate travel in the past two months, along with international travel and the significant increase in positive test rates and test rates per capita in other states.
“I think it’s a good idea because of the way coronavirus is spreading again,” said Armondos Sardinas of Ipswitch.
Baker said enforcement will be handled by local boards of health.
Download the free Boston 25 News app for up-to-the-minute push alerts