Massachusetts is advising all travelers entering the Commonwealth to self-quarantine for 14 days. Health and safety workers and other essential employees are exempted. “Starting today, all travelers arriving to the Commonwealth are instructed to self-quarantine for 14 days,” Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker said during a news conference on Friday, 27 March, 2020. “We’re taking extraordinary steps here to keep our residents safe.”
Information about the new advisory will be provided on flyers to travelers entering the state through Logan Airport, South Station and Worcester Airport. They will be at rest stops and road signs for drivers. Importantly, at this time, Massachusetts will not penalize those who don’t comply with the advisory.
“Mayors, public health officials, doctors, nurses, and armies of front line medical workers everywhere are doing extraordinary work, “Governor Baker said. “And they all have said the same thing: stay home, stop the spread.”
“We are engaged in discussions with a lot of people about what we can and cannot do. There are plenty of legal and constitutional issues that are involved in this,” said Baker. “We certainly believe encouraging people and instructing people who come back to Massachusetts from some place else to self-quarantine for 14 days is a perfectly reasonable and [logical] thing to expect them to do.”
When asked by reporters about his thoughts on President Donald Trump’s hope that the United States would be “raring to go” by Easter on April 12, Governor Baker said, “Yeah, no. We’re not going to be up-and-running by Easter.”
COVID-19 is an illness caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, a new strain of human coronavirus previously unknown in the human population. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, major symptoms are fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Other symptoms may include lack of sense of smell or taste, flu and cold symptoms, and gastro-intestinal problems.