Mass. governor relaxes travel rules for some nearby states

Mass. governor relaxes travel rules for some nearby states

BOSTON — Travelers from seven nearby states that have worked to curb the spread of the coronavirus will no longer be told to self-quarantine for 14 days when arriving in Massachusetts, Gov. Charlie Baker announced Tuesday.

The new rules, which take effect Wednesday, apply to visitors from Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, New York and New Jersey. Workers designated by the federal government as essential critical infrastructure workers are also exempt.

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"These surrounding states, like Massachusetts, are seeing a significant decline in cases and new hospitalizations," Baker said.

All other visitors - including those from states currently experiencing increases in reported cases of COVID-19 - are still instructed to self-quarantine for two weeks after arriving in Massachusetts. The self-quarantine also applies to Massachusetts residents who are arriving home after visiting other states, except from the seven exempt states.

Any travelers displaying symptoms of COVID-19 should not travel to Massachusetts, the Republican governor cautioned.

"You need to respect the virus," Baker said at a Statehouse news conference.

Baker also said both Massachusetts residents and visitors to the state are required to use masks or face coverings in public places where they can’t socially distance.

Boston 25 News asked the governor if a handful of other states can come here for vacation, where can Massachusetts residents safely go?

“I think we’d like to see them go to the states that have the same kind of current positive trends that we have, which would be the ones generally around us,” Gov. Baker said.

The governor also made it clear there is no official way to enforce the 14-day quarantine request because it is an advisory.

Here’s what restrictions are in place in other New England states:

Maine is only exempting residents of NewHampshire and Vermont from its testing and 14-day quarantine requirements. Massachusetts residents must quarantine for 2 weeks or have proof of a negative test.

MA visitors do NOT have to quarantine or have proof a negative COVID test, some visitors from others states do have to quarantine or have proof of a negative test.

"Currently, we ask those from out-of-state who will be traveling to and staying in New Hampshire for an extended period of time to self-quarantine for a two-week period."

"All travelers entering CT from a state with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents, or higher than a 10% test positivity rate over a seven-day rolling average, shall self-quarantine for a period of 14 days."

“Residents…who live in counties across New England.. that have a similar active COVID-19 caseload to VT may enter the state for leisure travel without quarantining if they do so in a personal vehicle.”

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