Travel FAQ 18-26
The holiday season has past but travel risks remain. It remains important that we all do our best to continue to travel as responsibly and safely as possible. The Baker Administration has set forth guidelines to follow for those of us where travel is unavoidable this Holiday Season. The following are FAQ to help residents of the Commonwealth better understand the requirements.
18. May travelers from places other than lower-risk states be exempt from the Travel Order requirements if traveling for the purpose of running errands like going to the grocery store or pharmacy?
- Travelers are exempt from the requirements to fill out the Travel Form and self-quarantine or obtain a negative COVID-19 test result if their travel is limited to brief trips for purposes that the Commissioner has designated as Critical Life Activities. This allowance is limited to short, same-day trips across the border and back for the following purposes: grocery shopping, visits to pharmacies, attending appointments with licensed health care providers including medical, dental, or mental health,, visiting persons receiving treatment in hospitals or residing in congregate care settings, attendance at day care or children’s camps, attending religious services and funerals or memorial services, or attending to the care needs of family members.
- During such trips, travelers are instructed to wear face-coverings, maintain social distance, practice good hygiene, and adhere to all other COVID-19 rules and restrictions.
19. I am a resident of RI attending a wedding in MA. Is the wedding considered a Commissioner’s Exemption under “religious services?”
- The wedding service itself can be considered an exemption as a religious service. However, any reception or celebration which either precedes or follows the ceremony is not exempted and requires either quarantining or a 72 hour negative test result in order to attend.
20. Are parents, guardians, and children required to comply with the Travel Order if traveling for the purpose of managing shared custody of a child?
- Children who travel into and out of Massachusetts because of transfers of custody or visitation between parents or guardians are exempt from the requirements of the order. Parents and guardians may rely on the transitory travel exemption, provided they comply with its limitations.
21. Other states’ travel restrictions include exemptions for trips that last less than 24 hours. Does Massachusetts have a similar exemption?
- No, there is no specific exemption for trips that last less than 24 hours. Such short trips may be covered by exemptions like the ones for transitory travel or commuting for work or school. Travelers arriving from places other than lower-risk States must fill out the Travel Form and self-quarantine or obtain a negative test result if they do not meet one of these exemptions.
22. I am looking to be exempt from the requirement to self-quarantine by obtaining a negative COVID-19 test, but I am unable to get tested in the state that I am traveling from. What can I do?
- A traveler who is required to quarantine may be released from the obligation to continue quarantining upon obtaining proof of a COVID-19 negative test, which was administered after the person’s arrival in Massachusetts. Travelers are required to quarantine immediately upon arrival in Massachusetts but may temporarily break quarantine to receive testing. Travelers must arrange for the test at their own expense and then are required to immediately continue quarantining until receiving a negative test result or the 10 days is complete.
23. After completing the Travel Form, do I need to keep a copy of my submission on-hand?
- You should keep the documentation with you. If you obtained a negative COVID-19 test result to be exempt from the self-quarantine requirement you should be prepared to produce those results upon request.
24. I am traveling to Massachusetts from Puerto Rico (or some other United States Territory). How does the Travel Order apply to me?
- For the purposes of the Travel Order the following U.S. jurisdictions are treated as States:
- District of Columbia
- Puerto Rico
- Northern Mariana Islands
- American Samoa
- None of these areas is currently classified as a lower-risk State, so travelers arriving from any of these places are required to fill out the Travel Form and self-quarantine or be prepared to produce a negative COVID-19 test result if they do not fall within one of the enumerated exceptions.
23. My child attends day care or day camp in MA or RI. Does he or she need to test or quarantine each day?
- No. Children who travel into or out of Massachusetts to attend day care or day camps are not required to comply with the Travel Order, and a parent or guardian transporting the child may rely on the transitory travel exemption, provided they comply with its limitations.
24. I live in Rhode Island and have a child or other family member receiving specialized medical care in MA. Can I visit them without quarantining or receiving a negative COVID test result?
- Yes. See response question number 18 above, which explains the Commissioner’s limited exception for Critical Life Activities.
25. What are the Commissioner’s exceptions for Critical Life Activities?
- grocery shopping
- visits to pharmacies
- attending appointments with licensed health care providers, including medical, dental, or mental health
- visiting persons receiving treatment in hospitals or residing in congregate care facilities
- attendance at day care or children’s camps
- attending religious services, and funerals or memorial services
- attending to the care needs of a family member
26. I am traveling into Massachusetts to participate in a clinical trial, am I exempt from the form and quarantine requirements?
Yes. Travelers coming to Massachusetts to participate in a clinical trial do not need to fill out the travel form and do not need to quarantine for 10 days.
Visitors are strongly urged to obtain a negative result before traveling to Massachusetts.
Testing for children, 10 years and younger, who are traveling with an adult from their household is not required.
Note: These requirements are in addition to Massachusetts requirements for wearing a mask or other face covering in both indoor and outdoor settings, any time you cannot socially distance and remain 6 feet from other people.
It is critical for all of us to remain vigilant in our battle against COVID-19. COVID-19 remains a highly transmissible disease. Individuals should continue to follow these universal precautions:
- Follow healthy hygiene practices
- Stay at home when sick
- Practice social distancing
- Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.
We will continue to share with you guidance from the CDC, EPA, FDA, Mass EEA, Mass EEC, Mass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office While the administration continues to work with Federal and Local agencies to insure the safety and wellbeing of the residents of the Commonwealth during this ongoing pandemic and now manage the delivery of the much needed aid.
(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDC, EPA, FDA, Mass EEA, Mass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).
Also, we at SERVPRO of Framingham know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines to ensure a safe environment for our children. For those communities, we are here to help!
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The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Framingham are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Framingham today for a free consultation - (508) 370-4400.
All of us here at SERVPRO of Framingham want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!