New Travel Restrictions Announced: New England States, NY, NJ, HI Have Exceptions

Jana Ferguson, Assistant Commissioner of the
Massachusetts Department of Public Health
has notified the Hawley Board of Health as follows:


Governor Baker has announced that effective August 1st, all travelers entering Massachusetts—both out of state residents and Massachusetts residents returning home—must comply with a new travel order. This includes students returning to campuses for the fall semester.

The new travel order requires all visitors and returning residents to fill out a “Massachusetts Traveler Form” unless they are coming from a state that has been designated a lower risk COVID-19 state or fall into an exemption category. The new travel order also provides that visitors and returning residents arriving in Massachusetts from any place other than a COVID-19 lower-risk state must quarantine for 14-days unless they can produce a negative COVID-19 test result administered on a sample taken not more than 72-hours prior to arriving in Massachusetts.

More details on this order are posted and available at

Hawley’s Emergency Management Director, Greg Cox states:  Hawley residents need to recognize that if they go outside the 8 state Northeast region (New England plus New York and New Jersey) for any reason (like a wedding or vacation or whatnot) and come back, they will be required to quarantine for 14 days upon return, unless they are able to show a negative COVID 19 test. Hence, a weekend trip can turn into 2 weeks of not being able to go to work. 

Board of Health Chair, Hussain Hamdan, adds:  All of the states bordering Massachusetts including New York, as well as the state of Maine, are exempt.   Additionally, this order does not apply to those who cross state lines in the course of regular commuting nor to essential personnel nor to anyone in active military service.  

Lower-risk States

Travelers from COVID-19 lower-risk States are not required to fill out the Massachusetts Traveler Form and do not need to quarantine. States are included on the list based on meeting two criteria: average daily cases per 100K below 6 AND positive test rate below 5%, both measured as a 7-day rolling average.

Data is from as of July 21, 2020. The current list of COVID-19 lower-risk states includes:

♦ Conneticut
♦ Hawaii
♦ Maine
♦ New Hampshire
♦ New Jersey
♦ New York
♦ Rhode Island
♦ Vermont

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