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Massachusetts’ COVID-19 travel order will be downgraded to an advisory on Monday

Sonybel Quinones, of Chelsea, cheered as Esther McCollin, RN handed vaccination cards to her husband, Angle Del Valle, showing that they've received the Moderna COVID-19 vaccination at a Whittier Street Health Center Mobile Vaccination clinic taking place at the Lion of Judah Church in Roxbury on Thursday.
Sonybel Quinones, of Chelsea, cheered as Esther McCollin, RN handed vaccination cards to her husband, Angle Del Valle, showing that they've received the Moderna COVID-19 vaccination at a Whittier Street Health Center Mobile Vaccination clinic taking place at the Lion of Judah Church in Roxbury on Thursday.Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

Governor Charlie Baker’s office said the state’s travel order will be downgraded to a less onerous advisory on Monday, the same day Massachusetts moves to Phase 4, Step 1 of its economic reopening.

The announcement came in a statement Thursday.

Starting Monday, the release said, the advisory says that “all persons entering Massachusetts, including returning residents, are advised to quarantine for 10 days upon their arrival if they have been out of the state for 24 hours or more.” That had been a requirement under the prior order, with certain exceptions.

The new advisory, the statement said, won’t apply to people in several categories. They are: anyone returning to Massachusetts after an absence of less than 24 hours; travelers to the state with a negative COVID-19 test administered in the prior 72 hours; workers who enter Massachusetts to perform critical infrastructure functions; and visitors who are fully vaccinated against the deadly virus, according to the statement.

“Travelers are additionally encouraged to consult and follow the CDC’s guidelines and requirements for travel,” the statement said.

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The Monday date for moving to Step 1 of the fourth phase has been confirmed previously by state officials.

“The Administration continues to take steps to reopen the Commonwealth’s economy with public health metrics continuing to trend in a positive direction,” the statement said. “This includes drops in average daily COVID cases and hospitalizations. Massachusetts also continues to be a national leader in vaccination rates.”

Effective Monday, officials said Thursday, large capacity sports and entertainment venues will be allowed to open at a strict 12 percent capacity limit after submitting a plan to the state Department of Public Health.

Gathering limits will also be affected by the change.

The statement said limits “for event venues and in public settings will increase to 100 people indoors and 150 people outdoors. Outdoor gatherings at private residences and in private backyards will remain at a maximum of 25 people, with indoor house gatherings remaining at 10 people.”

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And nuptials, it seems, will include the Electric Slide.

“Additionally, dance floors will be permitted at weddings and other events only, and overnight summer camps will be allowed to operate this coming summer,” the statement said. “Exhibition and convention halls may also begin to operate, following gatherings limits and event protocols. Other Phase IV sectors must continue to remain closed.”

The announcement also comes amid encouraging trends on the public health data, according to officials.

On March 1, officials said, Massachusetts loosened capacity restrictions for several industries and since then, hospitalizations have fallen by 20 percent and deaths dropped by 24 percent.

“The seven day average of new cases in long-term care facilities dropped by 53 [percent],” the statement said. “The positive test rate remains below 2 [percent] and has been for several weeks now. The seven day average of new cases is also down over this time by 7 [percent].”


Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.