Severity: Critical Alert

Transportation: Officials in Massachusetts, US, to impose new travel restrictions on Aug. 1, to curb the spread of COVID-19. Other restrictions in place.

  • Alert Begins: 27 Jul 2020 07:13 PM UTC
  • Alert Expires: 11 Aug 2020 11:59 PM UTC
  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Massachusetts (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Business disruptions likely, travel restrictions

Summary
Massachusetts Governor Charles Baker issued orders to require travelers entering the commonwealth from US states more affected by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival, starting Aug. 1. This policy includes out-of-state residents and Massachusetts residents returning home.

The new directive stipulates that travelers entering the state from international destinations, or any US state except New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Hawaii, are required fill out a form and self-quarantine for 14 days. Alternatively, travelers can show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within the 72 hours prior to their arrival to Massachusetts. Travelers can also get a test upon arrival, but must remain in self-quarantine until they obtain a negative result.

Failure to comply with these orders may result in a USD 500 fine per day. People traveling through the state, those commuting for work, those traveling to receive medical treatment or work at essential businesses, are exempt.

Otherwise, Massachusetts remains on Phase 3 of its economic reopening plan since July 6. Authorities have also maintained the requirement for all residents and visitors to wear a facemask in public places when social distancing measures are not possible.

Under Phase 3, indoor gatherings will be limited to eight people per 1,000 square feet, with a maximum of 25 people. Outdoor gatherings are limited to 25 percent capacity in an enclosed space, with a maximum of 100 people. Businesses and services previously authorized to operate may continue as before. From July 6, the following establishments and activities may also reopen and resume:

 

  • Movie theaters and outdoor performance venues

 

  • Museums, cultural and historical sites

 

  • Fitness centers and health clubs

 

  • Certain indoor recreational activities with low potential for contact

 

  • Professional sports games, under the authority of leaguewide rules, without spectators


Transport and business disruptions may persist even as restrictions are eased. All measures are subject to amendment at short notice.

Advice
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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