This page, COVID-19 Travel Order, is part of

COVID-19 Travel Order

Effective August 1, 2020, all visitors and returning residents entering Massachusetts must follow new travel orders. The Commonwealth has made great progress to slow the spread of COVID-19 and gradually re-open the economy, and all visitors have a responsibility to help us keep transmission levels as low as possible.

All visitors entering Massachusetts, including returning residents, who do not meet an exemption, are required to:

  • Complete the Massachusetts Travel Form prior to arrival, unless you are visiting from a lower-risk state designated by the Department of Public Health.
  • Quarantine for 14 days or produce a negative COVID-19 test result that has been administered up to 72-hours prior to your arrival in Massachusetts.

If your COVID-19 test result has not been received prior to arrival, visitors, and residents must quarantine until they receive a negative test result.

Failure to comply may result in a $500 fine per day.

Please find more information below, including the list of lower-risk states, exemptions, business guidance and other details.

Table of Contents

Massachusetts Travel Form

All individuals entering Massachusetts after 12:01 a.m. on August 1, 2020 who are over the age of 18 or an unaccompanied minor must complete and submit the on-line Massachusetts Travel Form unless the individual meets an exemption below:

  • Lower-risk State: This includes individuals coming from a COVID-19 lower-risk state within the United States, as detailed below.
  • Transitory travel: This includes people who are passing through Massachusetts and permits travelers to drive through the State or to connect to their airplane, bus or train, or to stop at a highway rest stop, but this exception extends only so long as is reasonably required for the traveler to complete their transit, make any necessary airplane, bus, or train connection, or make use of travel services such as at a highway rest stop.
  • Persons Commuting for Work or School: People who regularly commute, at least weekly, outside of Massachusetts to a fixed place to attend school or work or any person who regularly commutes, at least weekly into Massachusetts to a fixed place to attend school or work; provided that in either case, this exception applies only to and from the person’s residence and place of work or school.  Workers or students who travel to any place that is not their home state for personal or leisure reasons cannot rely on this exemption.
  • Patients Seeking or Receiving Medical Treatment:  Patients who are traveling to Massachusetts to seek or receive specialized medical care from a physician located in the Commonwealth and persons accompanying and providing needed support to the patient.
  • Military Personnel: Any person who is required to travel to Massachusetts at the order or directive of a Federal or State military authority.
  • Workers Providing Critical Infrastructure Services: Workers who enter Massachusetts to perform critical infrastructure functions as specified in Version 3.1 of the listing published by the Federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency are exempt from quarantine while they are commuting to or from or while at work.  For the first 14-days after arrival, when the worker is not at work or commuting to work they must quarantine. Additional information may be found here: https://www.cisa.gov/publication/guidance-essential-critical-infrastructure-workforce. Workers who travel to or from Massachusetts for personal or leisure reasons cannot rely on this exemption.

If you do not meet one of the exemptions above, you must complete and submit the online Massachusetts Travel Form.

Failure to submit a completed Massachusetts Travel Form, when required, or failure to comply with the quarantine requirement, if applicable, may result in a $500 fine per day. Additional information about both the Massachusetts Travel Form and the 14-day quarantine requirement, can be found in this comprehensive guidance issued by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

Thank you for helping us to continue to fight COVID-19.

Lower-risk States

Travelers from COVID-19 lower-risk States are not required to fill out the Massachusetts Travel Form and do not need to quarantine. States are included on the list based on meeting two criteria: average daily cases per 100K below 6 AND positive test rate below 5%, both measured as a 7-day rolling average.  Data is from covidexitstrategy.org as of July 21, 2020. 

The current list of COVID-19 lower-risk states includes: 

(Note: Effective Friday, August 7, Rhode Island is no longer listed as a lower-risk state)

  • Connecticut
  • Hawaii
  • Maine
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Vermont
map of states

Massachusetts residents are urged to limit any out-of-State travel only to States designated as COVID-19 lower-risk States.

In determining whether you are required to complete the Massachusetts Travel Form and whether you may be required to comply with the 14-day quarantine requirement, you will be treated as “arriving from” a place other than a COVID-19 lower-risk state if you were present in any State or jurisdiction not on the list of COVID-19 lower-risk states for more than a transitory period of time in the last 14 days.

Anyone arriving from an international destination must fill out the Massachusetts Travel Form and must quarantine for 14 days or meet the 72-hour testing rule.

Quarantine Requirement and Testing Options

14-Day Quarantine Requirement

All individuals entering Massachusetts after 12:01 a.m. on August 1, 2020 must quarantine for 14 days from the date of arrival in Massachusetts unless the individual meets one of the criteria below:

  • Lower-risk State: This includes individuals coming from a COVID-19 lower-risk state within the United States, as detailed above.
  • 72-hour Testing Rule: The individual can produce, upon request, proof of a negative test result for COVID-19 from a test administered on a sample taken no longer than 72 hours before your arrival in Massachusetts.
  • Transitory travel: This includes people who are passing through Massachusetts and permits travelers to drive through the State or to connect to their airplane, bus or train, or to stop at a highway rest stop, but this exception extends only so long as is reasonably required for the traveler to complete their transit, make any necessary airplane, bus, or train connection, or make use of travel services such as at a highway rest stop.
  • Persons Commuting for Work or School: People who regularly commute, at least weekly, outside of Massachusetts to a fixed place to attend school or work or any person who regularly commutes, at least weekly into Massachusetts to a fixed place to attend school or work; provided that in either case, this exception applies only to and from the person’s residence and place of work or school.  Workers or students who travel to any place that is not their home state for personal or leisure reasons cannot rely on this exemption.
  • Patients Seeking or Receiving Medical Treatment:  Patients who are traveling to Massachusetts to seek or receive specialized medical care from a physician located in the Commonwealth and persons accompanying and providing needed support to the patient.
  • Military Personnel: Any person who is required to travel to Massachusetts at the order or directive of a Federal or State military authority.
  • Workers Providing Critical Infrastructure Services: Workers who enter Massachusetts to perform critical infrastructure functions as specified in Version 3.1 of the listing published by the Federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency are exempt from quarantine while they are commuting to or from or while at work.  For the first 14-days after arrival, when the worker is not at work or commuting to work they must quarantine. Additional information may be found here: https://www.cisa.gov/publication/guidance-essential-critical-infrastructure-workforce. Workers who travel to or from Massachusetts for personal or leisure reasons cannot rely on this exemption.

Travelers who are required to complete a 14-day quarantine on arriving in Massachusetts will be contacted to remind them of their continuing obligation to quarantine.

Individuals who do not comply with their obligation to quarantine are subject to a $500 fine per day.

Testing as an Alternative to Quarantine

You do not need to quarantine for 14 days if you took a test for COVID-19 and have received a negative result. The specimen for the test must have been collected no longer than 72 hours before your arrival in Massachusetts, and the testing must be by a method approved by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Upon request, you must be able to demonstrate proof of the negative test result.

If you took a test prior to your arrival but have not received your negative result, you MUST quarantine until you receive the negative result. You may obtain a test at your own expense after your arrival in Massachusetts, but you MUST quarantine until you obtain a negative result. Use the COVID-19 testing map to find a site near you

Information about approved molecular tests can be found in the Department of Public Health Guidance. A negative result from an antigen test must be confirmed by a negative result from an FDA EUA-approved molecular (PCR) SARS-CoV2 test, on a sample obtained 72 hours or less prior to arrival in Massachusetts. Serology tests will not be accepted.

Visitors are strongly urged to obtain a negative result before traveling to Massachusetts.

Testing for children, 10 years and younger, who are traveling with an adult from their household is not required.

Individuals who do not comply with the requirement to quarantine are subject to a fine of $500 per day.

How to Quarantine

Travelers who do not fall within the one of the three exemption categories detailed above:

  1. coming from a lower-risk state,
  2. meeting the 72-hour testing rule, or
  3. meeting a limited circumstance-specific exemption, must quarantine beginning immediately upon arrival in Massachusetts.

The quarantine must continue for a period of 14 days unless the traveler leaves the State sooner. 

The requirements for quarantining are as follows:

  • Travelers, along with their travel party, must separate from all other people for 14 days.
  • Travelers must not be in public or otherwise leave the identified quarters.
  • The living quarters must have a separate bathroom facility for each individual or family group. Access to a sink with soap, water, and paper towels is necessary. Cleaning supplies (e.g. household cleaning wipes, bleach) must be available in the bathroom.
  • Travelers must have a way to self-quarantine from other household members if a fever or other symptoms develop, in a separate room(s) with a door.
  • During the quarantine period, no one else should be in the living quarters other than those in the Travel Party, including hotel staff or delivery persons, as applicable.
  • Food must be delivered to the living quarters.
  • Travelers must have a sufficient supply of face masks or face coverings to wear and must be compliant with the Massachusetts’ masking order https://www.mass.gov/doc/may-1-2020-masks-and-face-coverings/download.
  • Travelers are not to leave their living quarters except to receive urgent medical care.
  • Travelers should engage in proper hygiene including washing hands frequently using soap and water for at least 20 seconds.  If soap and water are not available, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol may be used.
  • Travelers should remain aware of potential COVID like symptoms including: fever (temperature over 100.0 degrees); cough; difficulty breathing; shortness of breath; chills; muscle or body aches; runny nose or nasal congestion; new loss of taste or smell; headache; nausea; vomiting or diarrhea. Travelers with any of these symptoms should immediately contact a healthcare provider.
  • If no one in the Travel Party develops symptoms, then the travel party may continue with their normal activities after 14 days.

These requirements are in addition to Massachusetts requirements for wearing a mask or other face covering in both indoor and outdoor settings, any time you cannot socially distance and remain 6 feet from other people.

What Happens if I Develop COVID-19 Symptoms While in Massachusetts? 

The 72-hour test is a diagnostic test that is a point in time clinical measurement. If you develop symptoms, you may need to be tested again and may need medical attention.

Leaving Massachusetts Prior to Completion of Quarantine

A traveler may choose to leave Massachusetts before the completion of his or her 14-day quarantine.

Information for Employers

Employers are strongly discouraged from requiring or allowing business-related travel to non-lower-risk states, as indicated in red on the map above.  Employers that permit employer-paid or -reimbursed travel to non-lower-risk states should take measures to ensure employees comply with the Travel Order. Employers are also urged to strongly discourage their employees from taking leisure travel to non-lower-risk destinations.

International Travel

Consult with the U.S. Department of State website for COVID-19 information regarding international travel.

All International travelers arriving in Massachusetts must complete the Massachusetts Travel Form and must quarantine for 14 days unless they can provide proof of a negative test result that meets the criteria stated above or they are covered by one of the other, limited exceptions.

Stop the Spread

We All Must Do Our Part to Stop the Spread: Protect Yourself and Others

  • Avoid public places, including while traveling, if possible
  • Massachusetts law requires you to wear a mask if
    • You are within 6 feet of distance from other individuals 
    • In a situation or setting where you are unable to maintain 6 feet of distance from others
    • In a public business or public or private transportation carrier or for-hire vehicle
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially before you eat
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Cover your cough and sneezes with a tissue and discard it in a closed container
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects

Potential Other Traveler Scenarios

1. Does this apply to students arriving from other States or foreign countries to attend college or university or boarding school? 

  • Yes. The travel rule applies to all persons entering Massachusetts from any point of origin.  A student who enters Massachusetts from any place not included on the list of COVID-19 lower-risk States must quarantine for 14 days if the student cannot provide proof of a negative test result that meets the standards of the 72-hour test rule.

2. Does the rule apply to parents, guardians and family members who are dropping their students off for boarding school or college/university?

  • Yes. If a parent/guardian/family member is entering Massachusetts only to drop off the student and then immediately leaves the campus and the state, then they would meet the exemption of transitory travel.  If they are staying overnight, then they are subject to the requirements of the travel order. 
  • Parents, guardians, and family members who do not meet the transitory travel exemption and are coming into Massachusetts from any place other than a COVID-19 lower-risk State are required to either receive a negative test within 72 hours of coming into Massachusetts or quarantine for 14 days.

3. Where can I report concerns I may have about non-compliance with the order? 

4. If I develop symptoms but had a negative test what should I do?

  • The 72-hour test is a diagnostic test that is a point in time clinical measurement. If you develop symptoms, you may need to be tested again and may need medical attention.

5. I received a call that I should go into quarantine because I was exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19. My test came back negative 3 days ago. Do I still need to quarantine?

  • Yes. If you were exposed to someone known to be COVID-19 positive, then you are at increased risk of becoming positive and will need to quarantine for 14 days in your home state.

6. I had an antigen test which was negative, do I need to be tested again? 

  • Yes, a negative antigen test must be confirmed by a negative result from an FDA EUA-approved molecular (PCR) SARS-CoV2 test on a sample obtained 72 hours or less prior to arrival in Massachusetts.

7. I plan to arrive in Massachusetts on, or before, July 31, 2020, do I need to fill out the travel form?

  • No

8. I am traveling with my children from a non-lower-risk State. I took a test and have my negative result. Do my kids need a test for COVID-19 as well?

  • It depends on each child’s age. If your child is 10 or younger, then the child does not need a test. If the child is 11 or older, then the child needs to be tested or will need to quarantine for 14 days, unless an exemption criteria applies.

9. I am a MA resident returning home after traveling to a state that is not considered lower risk.  I have proof of a negative test result on a sample taken before my out-of-state travel, and because I was out of state only for 48 hours, I am returning within 72 hours of the time the sample was taken. Can I use my negative test results taken before I left to satisfy the 72-hour testing rule and avoid quarantine?

  • No, you must quarantine or obtain a new test upon return, unless you meet another exemption.

10. I am a MA resident and I provide Critical Infrastructure Services.  I plan to go on vacation to Florida with my family. Do I need to quarantine when I return home from Florida?

  • Yes. Workers who travel from Massachusetts for personal or leisure reasons cannot rely on the Critical Infrastructure Worker exemption upon return. You must either quarantine or satisfy the testing rule. Your status as a Critical Infrastructure Worker does not allow you to break quarantine—even to do that specialized work—following travel for personal or leisure reasons.
  • Likewise, a Critical Infrastructure Worker who comes to Massachusetts for personal or leisure reasons cannot rely on the Critical Infrastructure Worker exemption upon arrival and must either quarantine or satisfy the testing rule.

11. I am dropping my child off at college in another state that is not considered lower risk. Do I need to quarantine when I come home?

  • It depends. If a parent/guardian/family member is entering a non-lower-risk state only to drop off the student and then immediately leaves the campus and the state, then they would meet the exemption of transitory travel.  If they are staying overnight, then they are subject to the quarantine requirement upon return or must meet the testing rule.

12. I am entering Massachusetts but do not need to fill out the travel form because I meet an exemption. Do I need written documentation demonstrating that I meet the exemption criteria?

  • No.

13. I am visiting my relative in Massachusetts. I live in a non-lower-risk state. I plan to quarantine in my relative’s home. Does my relative need to quarantine as well?

  • No. You should stay in a separate room from your relative. However, your presence in your relative’s home does not require your relative to quarantine.

14. I am traveling to MA from a non-lower-risk state and do not meet an exemption criteria. I previously had COVID-19, I isolated pursuant to CDC guidelines and was released from isolation, do I still need to quarantine or meet the testing rule?

  • Yes. You must quarantine upon arrival or meet the testing rule.
  • If you took a test within 72 hours of your arrival and it came back positive due to your previous infection, you can use the positive test result plus a note from your doctor documenting your previous diagnosis and recovery to satisfy the testing rule.

15. Can international travelers get tested in another country before arriving?

  • Yes, provided that they take a molecular (PCR) SARS-CoV2 test on a sample obtained 72 hours or less prior to arrival in Massachusetts that is authorized by their Government.

16. I am a MA resident and went on vacation to a non-lower-risk state. Can I get a test in that state 72 hours before I come home to avoid the quarantine requirement?

  • Yes, provided the test meets the DPH specifications.

17. I am a MA resident and I am required to travel from MA to a non-lower-risk state at the direction of the Military. Do I need to fill out the form and quarantine when I come home?

  • No. Massachusetts residents who go out of state for military work and then return back to Massachusetts meet the military exemption.
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