As part of ongoing efforts to limit the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), officials in Rhode Island have updated the state's travel advisory list as of Oct. 26. Under current directives, travelers entering Rhode Island from states with a five-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 before arriving in Rhode Island are exempt from the quarantine requirement. Alaska, Michigan, and Ohio were the most recent additions to the list. As of Oct. 26, travelers from the following states and territories must self-quarantine for 14 days:
- Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina. North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming
Authorities update the list of impacted states and territories every week. International travelers arriving in Rhode Island are also required to self-quarantine for 14 days.
Rhode Island continues to maintain Phase 3 restrictions through at least Oct. 28. Under Phase 3, all indoor settings, including office-based businesses, retail stores, restaurants, and other customer-facing businesses, are restricted to one person per 9.3 square meters (100 square feet) of floor space, or up to 66 percent of the establishment's maximum capacity. Outdoor businesses can operate following social-distancing measures, enhanced sanitation procedures, and gathering limits. Social gatherings are limited to 15 people; however, the limit for catered events, such as weddings, is 50 people indoors or 100 people outdoors. Any event with more than 100 attendees must obtain special permission from state authorities in advance. The use of protective face coverings is mandatory in indoor and outdoor public spaces where social distancing of at least 1.8 meters (6 feet) is not possible.
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.
Heed the directives of the local 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.