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Massachusetts Stepping Up COVID-19 Reopening, Replaces Travel Order With Advisory

  • March 19, 2021

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has announced the state will advance to Step 1 of Phase IV of its COVID-19 Reopening Plan on March 22, 2021. At that  time, the state will enforce a scaled back Travel Advisory.

Reopening, Gathering Changes

In Step 1 of Phase IV, several previously closed sectors will be allowed to reopen with capacity limits that are expected to be adjusted over time. Indoor and outdoor stadiums, arenas, and ballparks will be permitted to operate at 12 percent capacity after submitting a plan to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

The gathering limits also will adjust on March 22. The limits for event venues and public settings will increase to 100 people indoors and 150 people outdoors. Dance floors will be permitted at weddings and other events and overnight summer camps will be allowed to operate this summer. Exhibition and convention halls also may begin to operate following gathering limits and event protocols. Other sectors remain closed. The limits on gatherings at private residences will remain at 25 for outdoor gatherings and 10 for indoor gatherings.

Travel Advisory

The Travel Order issued in July 2020 will be replaced on March 22 with a Travel Advisory. The Travel Advisory urges people entering Massachusetts, including returning residents, to quarantine for 10 days upon their arrival if they have been out of state for at least 24 hours. The Travel Advisory does not apply to anyone in the following categories:

  • Those returning to Massachusetts after an absence of fewer than 24 hours.
  • Those who have a negative COVID-19 test result that was administered up to 72 hours prior to their arrival in Massachusetts. If it was not obtained before entry to Massachusetts, a test may be obtained after arrival, as long as travelers quarantine until a negative test result has been received.
  • Workers who enter Massachusetts to perform critical infrastructure functions (as specified by the federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency) while they are commuting to or from or while at work.
  • Those who are fully vaccinated (i.e., have received two doses of either the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines or have received a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least 14 days before and have no symptoms).

The Travel Advisory also encourages travelers to follow the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and requirements for travel.

Jackson Lewis attorneys are closely monitoring updates and changes to legal requirements and guidance and are available to help employers weed through the complexities involved with state-specific or multistate-compliant plans.

If you have questions or need assistance, please reach out to the Jackson Lewis attorney with whom you regularly work, or any member of our COVID-19 team.

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