School vacation week: Are people complying with travel rules? Is the state enforcing it?

School vacation week: Are people complying with travel rules? Is the state enforcing it?

BOSTON — First off forgive me for continuing the lessons even though school is out.

“We are going to DR,” said Southie resident Armanis Romero.

This is the start of February vacation week in Massachusetts schools and families have made their choices: to leave the state or not to leave. This getaway for school vacation week may not be what the state recommends but the state’s guidelines say if you’re going to travel, please follow the rules before coming back.

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When Atlanta resident Maggie Mcnew was asked if she is planning on quarantining, she said, “No, I’m coming for a few days and then I head back.”

So it looks like we need a review. Let’s allow Harvard student Anant Rajan to teach this class.

“Either quarantine for 10 days on arrival or provide a negative Covid test from within 72 hours,” Rajan said.

That’s correct! But, there is one more thing, state guidelines also ask anyone coming to Massachusetts to complete a state travel form.

“I did it before I got on the plane,” said Georgia resident Lorrie Anderson. “I already have a negative test that came back negative today so I’m good.”

For people who do get an F in compliance, you may also get a $500 fine per day.

“There should be more than that,” said Tennessee resident Lana Black.

We had a few questions for the state like how is the travel order being enforced? Will it step up enforcement for school vacation week? Also, how many people are facing fines for going against travel guidelines? How much money was collected, and what the money was used for?

According to a statement from state officials, it appears this is more of an honor system:

“Enforcement is a shared responsibility between the state and local health departments; because of this system there is not a list of fines collected….Individuals and employers are expected to take responsibility for their own compliance with the Commonwealth’s travel requirement.”

“Nobody likes what’s going on right now but if everyone does their part maybe we won’t do this for so long,” said Tennessee resident Lana Black.

Let’s end with a quick geography lesson. There are some exceptions to these rules for folks coming from a lower-risk state, right now that includes Hawaii Puerto Rico, and North Dakota.

There are also exemptions for those who need to travel for work, school, or other pressing matters.

At this time, even vaccinated people are asked to comply with the governor’s travel order and related testing and quarantine requirements. The state says these are the rules that remain while experts learn more about the vaccine’s protection.

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