July is traditionally a busy tourist month in Boston and the surrounding areas, but COVID-19 is wreaking havoc on the travel plans of out of state travelers. In an effort to stop the spread of the Coronavirus while ensuring the safety of local residents, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has enacted tough standards that includes requiring many residents of other states to self quarantine before venturing out of their hotels, airbnbs and vacation rentals.
If you are traveling to Massachusetts from Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, New York, New Jersey or Rhode Island than you will no longer be required to self-quarantine first because of the declining rates of COVID-19 in these New England states. Conversely, anyone from states not referenced above are required to quarantine in place for 14-days upon arriving or returning to Massachusetts. Anyone in self-quarantine is asked to not have any contact with people outside of their household and should remain inside except for emergencies. It is important to keep in mind that these restrictions are subject to change and could be updated at any time.
Thinking of ignoring Governor Baker's mandate? Well, think again because anyone that does not comply with the self-isolation requirement can face fines ranging from $2,000 to $10,000 depending on the number of violations. As justification for his decision, Governor Baker referenced the increase in new cases of COVID-19 in states across the South and West to include large outbreaks in Florida, Texas and California.
In Boston, businesses that rely on summer vacationers are struggling and remain hopeful that these new restrictions - changed just in time for the July 4th holiday - will spur residents from the aforementioned seven states that are not required to self quarantine to return to the area and support the locals.
Although many tourist attractions remains closed, there is no shortage of activities to do in Boston or the surrounding areas like Cape Cod. In Boston, the Freedom Trail remains open and accessible to residents and tourists for self guided walks while venturing by car over the Bourne Bridge means that the Cape Cod Bike Trail is well within reach.