On Friday, November 13th the State of Maine announced that Massachusetts residents have been removed from the no longer exempt from quarantine or negative COVID-19 test requirement to visit the State, effective Monday, November 16th. Residents from New Hampshire and Vermont continue to be exempt, even though Vermont is not offering reciprocal exemptions for Maine residents.

People coming here from Massachusetts must either quarantine for 14 days or receive a negative COVID-19 test with a sample taken no longer than 72 hours from arrival in Maine. This protocol applies to Maine residents returning from Massachusetts or another of the non-exempt states.

The decision comes after the Administration reviewed recent public health data in Massachusetts and other states. In reviewing metrics, which include but are not limited to positivity rate and 14-day case rate, Massachusetts demonstrated an alarming increase in prevalence of the virus with a positivity rate of 2.5 percent and 3,384 cases per million over the last fourteen days. By comparison, Maine, which is also seeing an increase in its positivity and case rates, recorded a positivity rate of 1.8 percent and 1,350 new cases per million, over the last fourteen days.

“Like most people in Maine, I am extremely concerned about the spread of this virus as we head into the holiday season when we customarily gather with friends and family, often in neighboring states,” said Governor Mills. “Some of our New England states, including Massachusetts, have demonstrated a concerning increase in the prevalence of the virus over the last two weeks. To preserve our ability to travel while protecting the health of our loved ones no matter where they live, visitors from Massachusetts and Maine people returning from Massachusetts must now test negative for COVID-19 or quarantine when coming to Maine. I recognize this will be an inconvenience for many, but it is in the interest of public health and can keep people, including our loved ones, healthy and safe this holiday season.”

“As Maine strives to respond to widespread community spread everywhere in the state, this decision reduces the likelihood of one potential way the virus could be introduced,” said Dr. Nirav D. Shah, Director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. “Visitors from Massachusetts can quarantine or take advantage of expanded testing options to help limit potential transmission of the virus and help keep us all safer. And those of us in Maine can do our part by wearing face coverings, staying at least 6 feet apart, and avoiding gatherings. Before you open the door to leave your home, put on a mask and think hard about whether you really need to make that trip.”

More From WDEA Ellsworth Maine