In response to the ongoing challenge of combatting COVID-19 and to prevent a resurgence of this virus in their communities, Connecticut and Massachusetts have tightened up on their travel restrictions in their respective states.
Taking effect on August 1st, Massachusetts has instituted an Executive Order that will require a 14-day quarantine of travelers coming into Massachusetts unless otherwise exempt. There are a number of exemptions:
- The person is coming from a low-risk state or passing through the state on their way to another destination, and has not been present in any high-risk state during the last 14 days; or
- The person can produce documented proof of a negative COVID-19 test result within the past 72 hours prior to coming into Massachusetts; or
- Commuting to work or school outside of Massachusetts by a person residing in Massachusetts
- Persons traveling into Massachusetts for specialized medical care
- Military personnel traveling into Massachusetts under a military directive
- Persons traveling into Massachusetts to perform “Critical Infrastructure Services” as defined by the Federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). This exemption is limited; applying only when a person is “actively engage performing the function” and at all other times shall comply with the quarantine requirement (unless another exemption applies).
The Order also includes an online form for non-exempt travelers which collects contact information for tracing purposes.
Penalties include fines of up to $500 per violation imposed on individuals who violate the Order as well as the ability to impose injunctions as well.
Coordinating with New York and New Jersey, Connecticut has likewise instituted travel restrictions requiring a 14-day quarantine when individuals traveling into Connecticut come from other states “with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents or a state with a 10 percent or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average.”
There are exemptions to these Connecticut restrictions. These include: allowing for workers traveling into Connecticut for work designated as critical infrastructure by the CISA, students in health care professions, federal, state and local officials and employees traveling on official business as well as for those who obtained a negative test result in the 72 hours prior to arriving into Connecticut.
Connecticut also has an online form for non-exempt travelers to complete.
Violators of the Connecticut order can face penalties of up to $1,000 per violation.
EANE Members can access all of the details of these orders in the archived E-Alerts here.
Best Practice For Employers
Employers are encouraged to reevaluate all of their future travel plans of their employees – both work-related and otherwise – in order to gauge the impact that these restrictions may have on their business.
While we don’t want to infringe on the privacy of our workforce, employers should ask employees with scheduled vacation time to let the organization know in advance if they’re traveling to a known COVID hot spot so that you can help employees understand their obligations around safety upon their return.
EANE members with specific questions about the impacts of travel and quarantine orders in our region are encouraged to call the hotline for guidance.