Baker: Travelers to Mass. should self-quarantine

Informational fliers to be handed out and signage put up notifying people of the latest effort to battle the spread of COVID-19.

Tisbury Police and the Steamship Authority have set up a sign telling people to stay at home. — Lexi Pline

Updated 9 am, Saturday*

In the latest effort to combat the novel coronavirus and the disease it causes, COVID-19, Gov. Charlie Baker is telling all travelers arriving in Massachusetts to self-quarantine for 14 days.

“Starting today all travelers arriving in the commonwealth are instructed to self-quarantine for 14 days,” Baker said.

Even before the governor’s press briefing, Tisbury put up its own signage near the Steamship Authority and was authorized by police and the SSA, Kirk Metell, the town’s director of public works, said. The sign flashes “new arrivals stay home 14 days.”

In an email to The Times, SSA spokesman Sean Driscoll wrote that the SSA offered the town space on their property to put up a message board.

“The board and message are [the town’s]. The timing in relation to Gov. Baker’s announcement today is coincidental, but fortuitous,” Driscoll wrote.

Speaking at a press conference Friday, Baker also asked people, especially those with symptoms, to not travel to the state. Earlier this week, the governor pleaded with seasonal residents not to return to Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket to “ride out the virus” following a similar plea by hospital CEOs on the Islands who fear their hospitals will be overwhelmed.

It comes as cases in nearby Barnstable County reached 100 confirmed cases, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Statewide there are 3,204 confirmed cases of COVID-19 — an 823 case increase since Thursday and 10 new deaths have brought the state total to 35. As cases rise across the state, the Vineyard has reported two confirmed cases. The Martha’s Vineyard Hospital reported one patient who was hospitalized has since been discharged and has gone into self-quarantine.

People entering the state will be given fliers instructing them about the 14-day quarantine. Fliers will be handed out at major transportation hubs like Logan Airport, South Station, and Worcester Airport.

“Drivers will also see these fliers in rest stops on the turnpike and on road side message boards that will display the message instructing travelers to quarantine,” Baker said. “We’re taking extraordinary steps here to keep out residents safe.”

Baker said the request was to protect the health and safety of everyone.

“At the same time, we should also be thinking about the potential impact of travelers visiting Massachusetts from other places,” he said in part. “Further, we’re asking folks considering traveling to Massachusetts for whatever reason, do not travel to our communities especially if you have symptoms.”

Baker also said surrounding states are advocating for people to stay at home and to stop the spread.

Updated to include current confirmed cases, and to change headline from “must” to “should” to more accurately reflect the governor’s statement. — Ed.


  1. Governor Baker continues with his inept messaging and proclamations. What we need is a statewide stay at home order, and shut down all but the most essential businesses. There is no difference between a traveler from New York or one from the Berkshires where there is also a hotspot. Same with the ferry–someone coming from the Cape could just as easily be a carrier as someone coming from Connecticut. It is pure security theater that will accomplish nothing, but instead will satisfy the urge by some to blame the virus on outsiders. Has anyone noticed that Massachusetts has one of the largest number of cases with numbers shooting up every day?

  2. I was really hoping this could have been implemented a couple of weeks ago especially for places like Nantucket and MV. My wish is that we are not too late with this decision, but I am happy it has finally been made.

  3. such a joke with my health being very high risk and my job being essential although i beg to differ. I had to wait on a customer who was from NY,NY lucky me. So much for staying at home.the state is being run by a joke, and this Islands selectmen and the towns PD really need to enforce that people get off the roads and stay home. set up spot checks whatever. I have a legal doc in my car allowing me to go to work it sits in my front windshield.

  4. What is with all the socialists ordering the home of the free to stay in place ? Bernie hasn’t won yet and every Tom Dick and Harry wants to demand what other people should do with their God given right to be free from tyranny.
    Ordering people to stay in place and not to travel is oppression and was used by the British on us 250 years ago and that didn’t end well for them.
    You can’t sugar coat how much damage the mainstream hysteria to this virus is causing. We the people around the world our seeing the erosion of our civil liberties every hour this global shutdown is allowed to go one. Our founding fathers are rolling in their graves now over how the press and politicians have created a monster of fear and panic over a flu.
    After the threat of the covid-19 virus has run out of steam and when the numbers are all in of who died or recovered from it the world is going to have to seriously consider if the global shutdown was all worth it.
    At this point in time we need to see way more death and sickness for the coronavirus to come close to the annual deaths either by car accident, cancer, heat disease, suicide, hospital malpractice and if you’re lucky enough everyday old age. Society has never panicked over death with so much fear before. I don’t even think during the WW2 years. Have we all become sheep ?

    • I guess you have not read about the Spanish Flu outbreak in 1918 that killed at least 10 million or listened to Bill Gates TED talk in 2015 regarding pandemics and how unprepared we are. This is nothing to do with civil liberties this could easily turn into World WarIII but with an hidden enemy.

  5. It’s funny how the news focuses on the 3204 people diagnosed and the 10 deaths instead of the 3204 diagnosed and the 3194 people who got it, are recovering and not dying.

  6. Cerebral, what part of this do you find funny? As of this submission, there are 2,000 deaths from COVID-19 in the US. Does the number of those infected, now at 117,688 somehow mitigate that? That’s a mortality rate of 1.69%. We have all been under a lot of stress lately. So, share with us what you find funny about this.

  7. To Governor Charlie Baker, the signs “asking” out of state travelers to “self quarantine” IS NOT ENOUGH. These travelers are ignoring their own cities stay at home orders, most likely spreading the virus and putting us, our limited emergency service personnel and large population of elderly in grave danger. We do not have the resources here to treat them AND protect our seniors and emergency personnel. Most are not bringing supplies or quarantining and are shopping in stores unprotected putting everyone in our community at much higher risk. By allowing travel to the Vineyard you are condemning us all especially our seniors. PLEASE SHUT THE BOATS AND AIRPORT DOWN to all non-essential travel. The president is backing other governors initiating restrictions on traveling New Yorkers. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced a policy targeting travelers from New York. Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced restrictions on travelers from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and New Orleans. Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo has dispatched the National Guard to go door to door in the coastal communities to ask people if they visiting from New York and informing them of a mandatory 14-day quarantine. Out of state travelers who have traveled to the island in the past 3 weeks to date should be identified, contacted in person and forced to quarantine. ALL new travelers to the island should also be identified and forced to quarantine.

    Trump considers ‘enforceable quarantine’ for N.Y, N.J. And parts of Connecticut.

  8. I think if you chance it and ride the SSA from MV, for whatever reason, you should self quarantine when you come back….be it the same day or whenever, until this disease gets under control.
    we shouldn’t single out those that don’t live here year round only.

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