Severity: Critical Alert

Transportation: Officials in Massachusetts, US, update coronavirus disease-related travel advisory as of Sept. 21. Other restrictions remain in place.

Alert Begins 21 Sep 2020 06:43 PM UTC
Alert Expires 05 Oct 2020 11:59 PM UTC

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

Summary
Authorities in Massachusetts have issued their latest update to the commonwealth's coronavirus disease (COVID-19)-related travel advisory. As of Sept. 21, Wyoming has been removed from the list of low-risk states. States remaining on the low-risk list are: Colorado, Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington. Per the most recent directive, anyone entering Massachusetts from international destinations or any US state not designated as low risk for COVID-19 infection must complete a travel form and self-quarantine for 14 days. Other restrictions remain unchanged.

Persons entering Massachusetts from a state or territory not designated as low-risk 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 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 serve alcohol only when 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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