Campus, City, Coronavirus, News

Move-in procedures muddled in light of Massachusetts quarantine order

Students from Boston University and colleges across Massachusetts are waiting for guidance from their institutions about how a new travel rule will impact their plans to return to campus.

Gov. Charlie Baker announced Friday that beginning Aug. 1, travelers from 41 states must quarantine for 14 days or produce a negative COVID-19 test result no more than 72 hours before arriving in Massachusetts.

Most individuals over 18 years old will need to fill out the Massachusetts Travel Form. The form asks for contact information, quarantine status and test status, as well as information on dependents who are also entering the state.

Travelers who fail to fill out the form or comply with the order may be fined $500 per day.

Some travelers exempt from the order include military personnel, those traveling through the state to reach another destination and those coming from designated lower-risk states. People who commute at least weekly to or from Massachusetts for work or school are also exempt, but only for this direct travel.

The current list of COVID-19 lower-risk states includes Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont.

Returning students who do not live in a lower-risk state are required to comply with the 14-day quarantine or 72-hour testing rule, according to the order.

Parents and other family members entering the state solely to drop off their students are not subject to the travel order’s requirements if they do not stay overnight in Massachusetts.

Baker said in a press conference Friday that Massachusetts has made more progress in stopping COVID-19 spread than many other states.

“We have a lower average for positive tests than many states around the country, and we want to keep it that way,” Baker said. “Every traveler coming to Massachusetts, no matter where they’re from, has a responsibility to help keep COVID-19 out of the Commonwealth.”

BU Spokesperson Colin Riley wrote in an email that the University supports the order.

“We’re very supportive of Governor Baker’s Executive Order,” Riley wrote, “and our testing and quarantine plans are consistent with it.”

Riley wrote that BU’s policy is “still being ironed out” and that students should wait for guidance from BU and Student Health Services.

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