As part of ongoing efforts to limit the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), officials in Rhode Island have updated the state's travel restrictions list as of Nov. 2. Under current directives, travelers entering Rhode Island 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 before arriving in Rhode Island are exempt from the quarantine requirement. As of Nov. 2, travelers from the following states and territories must self-quarantine for 14 days:
- Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, 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, Washington, 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.
Additionally, Rhode Island remains on Phase 3 of its economic recovery plan; however, authorities have amended certain measures due to increases in COVID-19 activity. Under the new directives, social gatherings of more than 10 people are not allowed, and spectators are banned at youth sports events. Indoor sporting facilities are closed through Nov. 9.
Other restrictions remain unchanged: 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 guidelines, enhanced sanitation procedures, and gathering limits. Attendance at 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. Retailers must now remind customers to wear facemasks upon entering the business.
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.