Severity: Critical Alert

Transportation: Officials in Massachusetts, US, amend travel advisory as of Sept. 8 due to decrease in COVID-19 cases. Other restrictions remain in place.

Alert Begins 08 Sep 2020 06:26 PM UTC
Alert Expires 25 Sep 2020 11:59 PM UTC

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Massachusetts (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Business and travel disruptions

Summary
As of Sept. 8, authorities in Massachusetts have amended the state's travel advisory list due to a decrease in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) activity in certain US states, lifting self-quarantine requirements for travelers from Oregon, Pennsylvania, Washington, and Wyoming. Other restrictions remain unchanged.

Per the most recent directive, anyone entering Massachusetts from international destinations or any US state not designated by the government in Boston as low risk for COVID-19 infection must complete a travel form and self-quarantine for 14 days. As of Sept. 8, travelers from Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming are not required to self-quarantine. Anyone entering Massachusetts from a state or territory on the commonwealth's travel advisory list can avoid the quarantine requirement by providing proof of having tested negative for COVID-19 within the 72 hours prior to their arrival. Travelers can also be tested upon arrival but must remain in self-quarantine until they obtain a negative result.

Failure to comply with the order is punishable by a fine of USD 500 fine per day. Anyone traveling through the state, individuals frequently commuting for work, people crossing state borders to receive medical treatment, or anyone working at essential businesses are exempt.

Massachusetts remains in Phase 3 of its economic reopening plan until further notice. Authorities require all residents and visitors to wear protective face coverings when in public places and social-distancing is not possible. Numerous businesses and facilities have been allowed to reopen, including movie theaters and outdoor performance venues, museums, cultural and historical sites, and fitness centers and health clubs. Bars, nightclubs, and large-capacity venues with spectators remain closed.

The ban on indoor gatherings of more than 25 people, in public or on private property, remains unchanged, but the limit for outdoor gatherings has been reduced from 100 to a maximum of 50 people. All people must wear protective face coverings while attending any gathering with more than 10 people from different households. Additionally, officials have ordered restaurants to only serve alcohol whenever food is also served.

Transport and business disruptions may persist even as restrictions are eased. Authorities could reimpose, extend, further ease, or otherwise amend any restrictions with little-to-no notice depending on disease activity over the coming weeks.

Advice
Heed the directives of the authorities. Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.


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