The Mills Administration announced Wednesday that, effective immediately, travelers from Massachusetts are exempt from the requirement to get a negative COVID-19 test or quarantine for 14 days.

The decision comes after the latest review of public health information by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services and Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, which determined that Massachusetts now resembles exempt states like Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey in its COVID-19 prevalence and positivity rate.

Maine's quarantine or testing alternative requirement, as established by the Keep Maine Healthy Plan, has helped protect the health and safety of Maine people since its implementation over three months ago, and been replicated by numerous other states since then, including Massachusetts. This change includes Maine residents who may be traveling back to Maine from Massachusetts after visits for services such as health care.

"Protecting the health and safety of Maine people has always been our first and foremost goal," said Governor Janet Mills. "We congratulate our friends to the south on their progress in mitigating the spread of the virus and ask them to continue to take all the appropriate precautions, as we know they will, to protect their health and safety and that of Maine people."

"Maine's policy has helped us protect our residents from COVID-19 while maintaining safe travel to and from other states," said Health and Human Services Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew. "We welcome Massachusetts' addition to exempt states while urging extra caution for travelers coming or returning to Maine from other states."

"Recent data show that the transmission risk in Massachusetts is similar to that in Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey," said Dr. Nirav D. Shah, Director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. "We still recommend that people traveling from those states to Maine take advantage of readily available testing options as the best way to ensure the safety of Maine residents and visitors."

The Mills Administration continues to strongly recommend that visitors from exempt states "Know Before You Go" and obtain a test before visiting Maine, for their safety and that of Maine people. Yesterday, Governor Mills announced that the Maine Department of Health and Human Services has broadened its Standing Order to allow anyone in Maine to now get tested for COVID-19 without the need for a separate order from a health care provider. Visitors can find COVID-19testing sites near them via the website Those taking reservations for lodging facilities in Maine are asked to advise all visitors that testing is encouraged, even if no longer required for people coming from certain exempt states.

"Massachusetts visitors play a key role in our tourism economy," said Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Heather Johnson. "We are hopeful for a strong fall tourism season as well as a robust ski season, and we are looking forward to Massachusetts residents being able to safely visit Maine."

With the vast majority of Maine's economy reopened under Governor Mills' Restarting Maine's Economy Plan, with Maine schools reopened, with 96 percent of child care providers reopened, and with more people interacting, it is critical that everyone take steps to protect themselves, their businesses, and others by wearing face coverings, keeping six feet distance whenever possible, and washing hands often with soap and warm water.

As of September 22, 2020, Maine, adjusted for population, ranks 2nd lowest in the nation in terms of positive cases; 5th lowest in the nation in terms of deaths; the lowest in terms of patients ever-hospitalized out of the 36 states reporting; and 10th highest in the percentage of people who have recovered out of the 45 states reporting.

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