Rhode Island Quarantine Requirement Begins in Massachusetts

Violators of the new travel restrictions for people coming to Massachusetts from Rhode Island could be fined up to $500 per day

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Starting Friday, most travelers entering Massachusetts from Rhode Island will have to quarantine for two weeks unless they recently tested negative for COVID-19.

Rhode Island has been removed from a list of eight low-risk states exempt from Massachusetts travel restrictions, the state Department of Public Health announced Tuesday, citing "increases in both RI's positive test rate and cases per 100,000."

Under new restrictions that took effect Saturday, both Massachusetts residents returning from trips to 42 non-exempt states and travelers from those states must self-isolate for 14 days or prove that they tested negative for coronavirus within the past three days. Violators could be fined up to $500 per day, but Gov. Charlie Baker said enforcement is based on an "honor system."

"It just doesn’t work," Attleboro resident Beverly Ring said. "It doesn’t work for us that are this close. A lot of people go back and forth between Rhode Island and Massachusetts."

Anyone coming into Massachusetts through Logan Airport or by car, bus and train will now have to prove that they're COVID-19 negative or hunker down.

Rhode Island was one of eight states on the exempt list along with Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and Hawaii. It is now the only state in the northeast covered by the Massachusetts travel order.

The restrictions do not apply to travelers who are only passing through an affected state or to employees who are crossing state lines to get work, according to officials.

One Rhode Islander who commutes from the Ocean State to Boston for work told NBC10 Boston he thinks the requirement is necessary for now.

"I think the governors of both states have been doing a good job in the scheme of things in trying to keep the number of cases down," Denise Chebut of Pawtucket said. " think it's appropriate. A little inconvenient … but appropriate."

On Tuesday, governors in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut similarly announced they had added Rhode Island to their states' travel orders.

State House News Service contributed to this report.

NBC10 Boston and Associated Press
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