Thanksgiving MA Regulations and Travel Restrictions
Thanksgiving is traditionally a time for friends and families to come together and count their blessings. Are you thinking about traveling to Boston or another part of Massachusetts this year, or if you live there, inviting folks over to break bread together? You may be wondering what regulations are in place in Boston and MA in general due to Covid-19 so that you and your loved ones can successfully comply with the law.
There are a few states that Massachusetts officials consider low-risk to travel from - District of Columbia, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, Hawaii, New Jersey, and Washington state. California was just removed as a lower-risk state on November 7. Travelers from other states must complete the required Massachusetts travel form and either quarantine for 14 days OR have a negative Covid-19 test taken 72 hours or less before arrival in Massachusetts. Those who are awaiting Covid-19 test results must quarantine until a negative result is found. Those who don't follow these regulations are subject to a fine of $500 per day.
There are some exemptions to these rules. Those who travel to Massachusetts for medical treatment, and their accompanying support people, are exempt from having to quarantine or provide a negative test. Those who regularly commute through MA on a weekly basis for work or school are exempt. Federal and state military personnel are exempt from this requirement. Critical infrastructure workers are exempt as well.
Indoor and outdoor gathering limits
Indoor gatherings of all kinds are limited to 25 people. Private outdoor gatherings are limited to 50 people, though lower risk communities have an outdoor gathering limit of 100 people. Violations of these rules will result in a $500 fine per person. All gatherings, regardless of location, must end and diperse by 9:30pm. There is a state-wide curfew from 10pm-6am, when all residents are required to be safely at their homes.
Event organizers are required to report any known positive cases of COVID-19 to the local health department and cooperate with contact tracing efforts.
What about masks?
Government officials previously stated that masks didn't need to be worn outside if people were able to maintain a social distance of at least 6 feet. But on November 2, Governor Charlie Baker issued a revised order stating that everyone must wear a mask in all public places, regardless of the ability to maintain social distance. So anytime someone is away from their property (their home or car), they are required to wear a face mask.
Everyone can do their part to uphold these legally-binding regulations in Massachusetts and ensure COVID-19 doesn't spread like wildfire this holiday season. Happy Thanksgiving!