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Baker gets tougher on visitors: Orders $500 daily fines for those who don't quarantine for two weeks after arrival from high-Covid states

COVID-19 Update: July 24, 2020

WGBH reports on the new order, which lets visitors escape quarantine with a recent negative Covid-19 test result. Of course, the devil is in the details, such as how it gets enforced. In any case, it applies to everybody coming into the state - including students and returning Massachusetts residents - from the rest of the country, save New England, New York, New Jersey and Hawaii.

Details from the state.

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was presently a COVID-19 hot spot.

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1334 total cases
23 deaths

Also, a serious quarantine on visitors from anywhere, enforced by the police.

Hawaii COVID-19 Joint Information Center Daily News Digest

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Per the NY Times website, the Aloha State broke their single day record for new cases on Friday.

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They got 60 new cases in one day! Now they have a staggering total of 375! Meanwhile, NH, with a slightly lower population, has 575 active infections, and 407 deaths. Why aren't you calling NH a hotspot?

Brah

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I'm going to apply those things, since government, once again, did not.

Philadelphia = Populous city literally across the bridge from an approved state

Pennsylvania minimum wage = $7.25/hr

$7.25 x 80 hours (two weeks of missed work from quarantining upon arrival here) = $1,020

Fine for not observing quarantine = $500

You can still make no less than $520 if you're a full-time employed person in Philadelphia who endeavors to visit Boston, shuns the quarantine, and gets caught beyond a reasonable doubt having done that. Their neighbors separated only by the Delaware River face no such restriction.

Government and borders are a cancer, and this proves that Charlie Baker isn't smart just because he's wealthy. There's really no end to the arrogance, ignorance, and obstinance of older men with money.

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The only people who will get caught are those who openly flout the policies. This might make them take is slightly more seriously even if they can afford it.

Anyway, if you're coming to Boston to work or for College, just get a test and you only need to stay alone for a few days. The colleges claim they'll have results within 24 hours because they have private testing resources.

If you're coming as a tourist, why bother? Most things are closed or restricted anyway.

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I spent parts of three days in NY and NJ this week. Horse track, beach, restaurants, and bookstores all open.

Only tourist crap is closed. Travelers who aren't fussy can make and find a good time.

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I'm headed to Maine for vacation and they demand a whole bunch of shit from MA residents - the only reason I can tell is that we have a Republican governor and their Public Health agency is headed by an MD/JD and not a D.PH.

It makes no statistical sense that they are listing MA as a problem. None whatsoever.

I will comply with their silly game, if only so that our vacation isn't ruined by household 'rona transmission - not because their idiocy is at all valid. Especially when our states are postage stamp sized (RI is the size of an average US county) and people regularly commute from Maine to Boston to do healthcare work.

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Before coming to ME, we were in northern NH for a month. I was wondering if that gave us the same status as a NH resident, so I called the ME CDC. They actually called back. We had a lengthy discussion and the woman concluded that we were good to go. She even said "We'll, it isn't as if people are being stopped at the border". I have a receipt from the NH campground for proof.

I have a few friends that cancelled their ME rentals months ago because of the restrictions. It's a tough call because someone from Berkshire county is from MA, but not exactly in the thick of things.

Anyways, good luck, hope you get to enjoy yourselves

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The problem is that the rental agency is doing a CYA and wants documentation.

Meanwhile, maskless jackasses that voted for Governor Florida LePage are free roaming and untested.

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Settle down Karen. If you don’t like the regs, then don’t go on vacation.

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Why do we have to be like this?

Swirly told us she would play by the rules, which frankly are nonsensical when you consider the logic they've used to try and explain why they are imposing restrictions on travelers from some areas but not others, which are in a similar situation to each other.

She didn't say they couldn't do that, she didn't say she wouldn't comply. She's not trying to fight it. She is expressing a well informed opinion on their policy. I see no issue here.

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love to try out the lexicon du jour, context be damned

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... just get a test and you only need to stay alone for a few days.

Right. No problemo, should be just as easy as getting, say, unemployment payments from the state. Where exactly do I go for that, the Annie Dookhan Memorial State Lab? Will they have shuttle service there from Logan? How do I go out and get a test if I'm in quarantine? What percentage of the tests come back incorrectly or to the wrong person?

Sorry Charlie, this dog just won't hunt.

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Make it sliding scale, or attach criminal felony charges to it.

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Which is it,

  1. People ought to be able to get together and agree to their own set of rules, which might differ from the rules that other people in some other area might agree to
  2. A monolithic world government ought to impose a uniform set of rules on everybody everywhere.

Your “different jurisdictions making different rules is insane, and borders are a cancer” argument sounds a lot like the latter. Your “government is a cancer” argument sounds like the former.

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Where the strike zone for admitted travelers is based on circular proximity to affected areas, and aren't hard stops at state borders?

It's literally an 18th century answer to a 21st century problem. The Governor of X doesn't have to consider the borders of Y or Z in deciding who's admissible and who isn't.

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License plates make it easy to see what state someone is probably from.

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The other day you were telling a cop you were a 15+ year resident of Boston. Why would that have any bearing unless you thought borders mattered? Same thing goes for Brighton. You mention living in Brighton over and over. But borders are arbitrary?

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The requirement to quarantine, or not, could be based on a detailed analysis of where you're coming from, what you've been doing, how you've been traveling, etc. -- score 57 points or higher and you need to quarantine; 56 or lower and you don't.

The problem being, of course, that such a system would be impossible to enforce, and very difficult to explain.

So we're stuck with something imperfect: state boundaries. Which, of course, at the margins, produce unreasonable results. The people making the rules are not idiots; they know perfectly well that a person daily commuting the 5 miles between Attleboro, MA and Pawtucket, RI and thereby crossing state lines, probably doesn't need to quarantine, while the person traveling from Chelsea MA to the Berkshires and not crossing state lines, probably does. But you use the tools you've got at your disposal.

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I'm with Bob, who once again, has explained my thoughts better than I ever could.

Don't let perfect be the enemy of good. Besides, any rules will be far from perfect, just because. Anything anybody comes up with could easily be shot full of holes.

Is it a pain? Yes, definitely.

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Adam- it looks like the headline and article contradict each other about Hawaiian restrictions?

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Changed the headline. Basically, people coming in from New England, New York, New Jersey and Hawaii can go about their business; everybody else has to quarantine.

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I don't think there are direct flights from Hawaii to Boston. If you change planes at LAX, SFO, Chicago, Atlanta, etc., do you have to quarantine or not upon arrival in Massachusetts?

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There are direct flights via Hawaiian.

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Hawaiian Airlines Boston to Honolulu nonstop.

Or at least it was. It did start not so long ago.

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I don’t believe so. I read through the entire order and there’s an exclusion for “transitory travel”—meaning if you briefly passed through an affected state. Airport layovers should qualify as long as you stay at the airport.

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The restrictions would seem to apply to every AL East and NL East opponent except for the Yankees, Mets, and possibly Blue Jays (if they pick Buffalo as their home in exile).

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Are apparently able to get instant tests and instant result on demand, which I can't wait til the rest of us have access to in about 2031

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The teams the Sox would presumably play against include several in states which are outside the "safe" bubble -- BAL, TB, ATL, MIA, PHL, and WAS. The Sox would have to quarantine upon returning from away games against those opponents, and their opponents would have to quarantine upon entering Massachusetts. There are no identifiable exemptions for professional sports.

I don't see how the Sox can play any home games against teams other than NYY, BUF (ok, TOR), or NYM, or how they can go to any other away games, either.

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Massachusetts has released a new form that travelers to the commonwealth must fill out confirming either that they will quarantine or that they have received a negative COVID test result in the past 72 hours.

Since teams are getting tested pretty much every day, this should be fine.

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Baker's order is there's an exemption if you've had a recent test. All the teams are tested often.

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Because not all local schools are being responsible. I saw a letter that BC sent to incoming students that gave ridiculously lax guidelines that would be potentially disastrous for the local area.

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You'd be surprised how many people DO pay attention to these rules. The questions and comments on a Facebook group I follow for a Maine tourist town are full of people cancelling their vacation plans and worrying whether they will be able to "get into" the state. Sure, lots of people DO ignore these rules, but I think the added fine does hammer home the idea that we take COVID seriously, which is definitely the right message to send.

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Governor you initiated a mandatory mask police and the MBTA and Transit Police ignored your policy. South Station has thousands of passengers coming in by train and bus arriving from High Covid states. Do you really believe that MBTA management and the Transit police are going to enforce your regulations?

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...that passengers getting off a plane from Dallas or Miami or Phoenix will get a flyer explaining the rules. But I'm not holding my breath.

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higher Covid-19 risk states. That's what's needed here. Many of the people who reside in those much higher-risks states have brought the mess on themselves by deliberately defying the rules about wearing masks when they go out in public, and for social distancing at 6 ft. or more from other people. I have absolutely no sympathy for these people who are so selfish and self-centered that they show total disregard for the welfare and well-being of others.

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a week or so back, asking for actual enforcement -- including outreach to travelers, maybe even including getting contact information for random spot-checks.

This is a start, though.

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If you start in a bad state, how long do you have to spend in a good state before this rule no longer applies when you arrive in Massachusetts?

Is the length of I-84 enough time?

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This gets extended for a while - at least until late August/early September. The college students are arriving by then (BU and Northeastern being the two biggest concerns), and unless they are carefully monitored, it will be disastrous for the greater Boston area.

Even if all campuses are virtual, sparing the (higher paid) teaching staff, think of all the (low-paid) support staff that keep a college running: janitorial, dining, maintenance, etc.

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I’ll be returning to Mass from Fla in a few weeks. How in the world would they possibly monitor me, short of road blocks at the border and check-ins at my house? How would they even know I was in Florida? None of this is enforceable but I get it I guess

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