Travelers from Missouri, Oregon, and Washington won’t need to quarantine when arriving in Massachusetts, the state said Friday.
The three states were deemed lower risk by Massachusetts officials, and join Hawaii and Puerto Rico on the list of places from which travelers aren’t required to quarantine for 10 days when arriving. The change goes into effect Saturday just after midnight, according to the state’s website.
Currently, those arriving in Massachusetts are required to quarantine unless they meet the state’s criteria, which includes coming from a lower-risk state, testing negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours before arriving, or passing through the state.
Also on Friday, Maine Governor Janet Mills announced that those traveling to the state from Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island can visit without quarantining or producing a negative COVID-19 test, effective immediately.
Mills made the announcement while detailing several rollbacks of COVID-19 measures as vaccinations ramp up in the state. The move comes in the run-up to summer, a season she called a “crucial time of the year for so many businesses and for our state’s economy as a whole.”
Previously, among New England travelers, only people coming from New Hampshire and Vermont were exempt from quarantining for 10 days or producing a negative COVID-19 test. The change announced Friday means people from all New England states will be able to travel freely to Maine. The measure also applies to those from any state who have been fully vaccinated or have recently had COVID-19 and recovered, Mills said.
On May 1, Maine will lift its restrictions even further, allowing people from all states to visit without quarantining or testing negative for COVID-19, except for those coming from states that are determined to be high risk by public health officials.
“If one or more states see a spike in cases of highly contagious COVID-19 variants, Maine will apply its test or quarantine requirement to travelers to and from that state,” according to the state’s website. “The Maine CDC will publicly announce any such states when they are identified.”
Mills also announced that the state is easing capacity limits for indoor and outdoor gatherings. Indoor gatherings are currently capped at 50 people and outdoor gatherings have a limit of 100 people. On March 26, the state will shift to a percentage-based model, and indoor gathering limits will increase to 50 percent of a venue’s permanent capacity. Assuming “all goes well,” Mills said, that will increase to 75 percent on May 24.
For outdoor gatherings, capacity limits will increase to 75 percent on March 26 and be removed entirely on May 24.
Bars and tasting rooms will also open to indoor service on March 26, Mills announced.
Mills said the state will adjust the capacity limits depending on key COVID-19 measures.
The state’s mask mandate remains in place, and Mills encouraged residents to continue engaging in mitigation measures like distancing.
On Thursday, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont announced that effective March 19, the state’s mandatory 10-day quarantine or negative test result for incoming travelers will become an advisory, meaning the measure will be recommended but those who don’t comply won’t be punished.