Severity: Critical Alert

Transportation: Officials in Rhode Island, US, extend current restrictions through Sept. 28 to curb the spread of COVID-19. Travel restrictions amended.

Alert Begins 02 Sep 2020 05:44 PM UTC
Alert Expires 30 Sep 2020 11:59 PM UTC

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Rhode Island (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Travel and business disruptions

Summary
Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo has extended restrictions put in place to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) through at least Sept. 28. The state will remain in Phase 3 of its economic recovery plan. Rhode Island's travel restrictions have also been amended.

Travelers entering from states with a 5 percent or greater COVID-19 test positivity rate must self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival; persons who produce proof of having tested negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours prior to their arrival in Rhode Island are exempt from the quarantine requirement. As of Sept. 2, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming have been removed from Rhode Island's list affected states. Travelers from Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin, as well as from Puerto Rico, must self-quarantine for 14 days. Authorities update the list of impacted states and territories every week. International travelers arriving in Rhode Island from outside the US are also required to self-quarantine for 14 days.

The rest of the restrictions will remain unchanged through late September. Social gatherings are limited to 15 people; however, the limit for catered events, such as weddings, is 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors. Any event with more than 100 attendants must submit plans to state authorities to request special permission.

As part of Phase 3, all indoor settings, including office-based businesses, retail stores, restaurants, and other customer-facing businesses, may allow one person per every 9.3 square meters (100 square feet), or allow up to 66 percent of their maximum capacity. Outdoor businesses can operate following social distancing measures, enhanced sanitation procedures, and the gathering limits.

Authorities have ordered the use of protective face coverings indoors and outdoors, whenever social distancing measures cannot be maintained.

Transport and business disruptions may persist even as restrictions are eased. Officials could amend the orders on short notice, depending on local disease activity in the coming weeks.

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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