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Massachusetts travel order could affect Clark students, families

Six ‘lower-risk’ states exempted from new rules

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has issued a travel order, effective August 1, which carries implications for people traveling to or returning to Massachusetts from other states. The new rules also apply to students coming to Massachusetts to study, and to the family members who accompany them to their university home.

According to the regulations, all visitors entering Massachusetts 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 was administered up to 72 hours prior to your arrival in Massachusetts.

Travelers from COVID-19 lower-risk states — Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont — are not required to fill out the Massachusetts Traveler Form and do not need to quarantine. States are included on this list based on meeting two criteria: average daily cases below 6 per 100,000 AND a positive test rate below 5 percent, both measured as a 7-day rolling average.

Exemptions to the above regulations can be found here.

What does this mean for Clark students and families?

This travel rule applies to students arriving from states or foreign countries to attend college or university in Massachusetts. 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. All Clark students will be given a COVID-19 test on their day of arrival, however, and will quarantine until they receive their results (about 24 hours).

The rule also applies to parents, guardians, and family members who are dropping their students off at Clark if they intend to stay overnight in Massachusetts. However, if they enter Massachusetts only to drop off their student and then immediately leave the campus and the state, they would meet the exemption for transitory travel.

Parents, guardians, and family members coming from any place other than a COVID-19 lower-risk state and who do not meet the transitory travel exemption — i.e., they intend to stay in Massachusetts overnight or longer — are required to either receive a negative test within 72 hours of entering Massachusetts or quarantine for 14 days.

Read the full travel order here.