Massachusetts implements COVID-19 travel order for out-of-state visitors

Starting Aug. 1, Massachusetts is enforcing a COVID-19 Travel Order for out-of-state visitors. Visitors not arriving from a lower-risk state must complete the Massachusetts Travel Form before entering Massachusetts and either quarantine for 14 days upon arrival or show evidence of a negative COVID-19 test from within 72 hours prior to arrival. 

If no symptoms of COVID-19 develop over 14 days, visitors may resume their normal activities.

States with “average daily cases per 100K below 6 AND positive test rate below 5%, both measured as a 7-day rolling average” are considered lower-risk, according to the Massachusetts government website. Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont are listed as lower-risk states. 

Visitors who are traveling through Massachusetts to reach their final destinations, commute at least weekly into or out of Massachusetts, are seeking medical care in Massachusetts, are entering Massachusetts on military orders, or provide critical infrastructure services are also exempt from completing the Massachusetts Travel Form. 

Failure to adhere to the travel order carries a fine of $500 per day.

The Massachusetts government website states that the travel order applies to “students arriving from other States or foreign countries” to attend college or boarding school and to “parents, guardians and family members who are dropping their students off” and are staying overnight. Parents, guardians, and family members who enter Massachusetts “only to drop off the student” and “immediately” leave the state would “meet the exemption of transitory travel.”

MIT Medical Director Cecilia Stuopis wrote in an email to The Tech that the travel order will not affect the move-in process for students returning to campus since the Institute “had already planned for all students to be tested upon returning to campus.”

Stuopis wrote that MIT’s Housing and Residential Services “have also added information about these requirements to the FAQ information on the undergraduate and graduate Fall 2020 housing dashboards.”

Information about the travel order “will also be included in future correspondence to all students who are approved to return to housing this fall” and in the Division of Student Life virtual training module on COVID Pass “that all returning residents are required to complete prior to arriving on campus.”