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Governor Issues Strict New Travel Order

Posted on July 24, 2020

Governor Charlie Baker today issued a strict new travel order that requires visitors and Massachusetts residents returning home to quarantine for 14 days unless they are coming from a lower risk COVID-19 state or can produce a negative COVID-19 test result administered no more than 72 hours prior to arriving.

Lower-risk states currently exempted from the order include New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maine, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire and Hawaii.

People traveling across state lines for work are exempted. The state cautions that workers or students who travel to any place that is not their home state for personal or leisure reasons cannot rely on this exemption and must quarantine for 14 days upon return.

State officials say strongly discourage employers from allowing business-related travel to destinations other than those appearing on the list of COVID-19 lower risk states. Employers that permit employer-paid or -reimbursed travel to those states should take measures to ensure employees comply with the new order. Employers are also urged to strongly discourage their employees from taking leisure travel to destinations not included on the list of COVID-19 lower-risk states.

For additional guidance on business-sponsored travel, refer to the commonwealth’s current out-of-state travel order.

Starting August 1, all visitors and Massachusetts residents returning home, including students returning to campuses for the fall semester, from higher risk states must fill out a Massachusetts Travel Form

and then quarantine. Failure to comply could result in a fine of $500 per day.

Other exemptions include people passing through the state, people traveling to Massachusetts for medical treatment, people complying with military orders, or people traveling to work in federally designated critical infrastructure sectors (essential services).

The Baker Administration today also updated guidance for lodging, offices, manufacturing, construction, labs, performance venues and indoor and outdoor events relative to the travel order. In addition, lodging operators are required to notify guests about this new travel order.

AIM members seeking more information may call the employer hotline at 800.470.6277.