On Friday (July 24th) Governor Charlie Baker announced that effective Aug. 1st, all travelers entering the Commonwealth, including both out of state residents and Massachusetts residents returning home, will be required to comply with a new travel order. The travel order and other information is available at www.mass.gov/MAtraveler.
Travel Order: Starting Aug. 1, 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.
Travelers are exempt from this requirement if they are coming from a state that has been designated by the Department of Public Health as a lower risk COVID-19 state or fall into another narrow exemption category.
Based on current public health data, those lower risk states will include: New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maine, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire and Hawaii.
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).
Prior to travel, people should visit www.mass.gov/MAtraveler to fill out the “Massachusetts Travel Form” or text “MATraveler” to 888-777.
The list of lower risk states is subject to change based on public health data, and states may be added or taken off the list at any time.
Read the Order here.
The Administration also announced updates to the Commonwealth’s COVID-19 Mandatory Safety Standards for Workplaces to incorporate the requirements of the travel order. This included sector-specific updates for lodging, higher education, office spaces and other industry sectors.
Updated guidance: The Administration today updated guidance for lodging, offices, manufacturing, construction, labs, performance venues and indoor and outdoor events relative to the travel order. In addition, lodging operators are required to notify guests about this new travel order.
Employers are strongly discouraged from allowing business-related travel to destinations other than those appearing on the list of COVID-19 lower risk states. Employers that permit employer-paid or -reimbursed travel to those states should take measures to ensure employees comply with this order. Employers are also urged to strongly discourage their employees from taking leisure travel to destinations not included on the list of COVID-19 lower-risk states.
To read the updated guidance, click here.
All travelers and residents are required to continue to follow the Administration’s order that requires face coverings, and practice good hygiene, social distancing and regular hand washing. People should not travel to Massachusetts if they have symptoms of COVID-19. Travelers will be informed of this order and new travel guidance by airlines, passenger rail corporations, bus companies and some major travel agents when booking trips and before arrival in Massachusetts.
For more information, please visit mass.gov/MATraveler or text “MATraveler” to 888-777.