Around New England

Fourteen-Day Quarantine Has Been Working in Massachusetts Because People Haven’t Been Willing To Rent Here, Governor Says

June 30, 2020

The state’s advisory of a 14-day quarantine for out-of-state visitors is working because it has spiked many potential rentals here, Governor Charlie Baker said.

A reporter asked the governor during his coronavirus press conference Tuesday, June 30 whether he has considered more draconian restrictions.

Instead, the governor announced Tuesday that people coming to Massachusetts from the other New England states, New York, or New Jersey don’t have to abide by the 14-day quarantine anymore, based on the encouraging coronavirus statistics in those states.

Here’s a transcript of the exchange:

 

Reporter:  Governor, we spoke with an epidemiologist yesterday, who said she was concerned about people coming in from some of those hot zone states, and, and potentially spreading the virus here. She suggested tougher enforcement, maybe at airports, or even stopping cars, fines. Is there — did you consider any of that? And, why or why not, have you decided to –

 

Governor Charlie Baker:  Well, we’ve had a 14-day quarantine in place now for quite a while, and generally speaking, people have been pretty good about complying with it.

What we thought we should do today, given the facts on the ground, was to make clear that the states that basically surround us, here in the Northeast, all of which have had very positive trends for the past several weeks, ahm, people in those states should be able to come to Massachusetts without having to live up to that 14-day quarantine.

But generally speaking, people have been pretty good about abiding by this to date.

 

Reporter:  How do you know that? I mean, the advisory really has, I mean, respectfully, no teeth. There’s — it’s a suggestion, essentially.

 

Governor Charlie Baker:  Most of the data information we get about it comes from the lodging community. Which says it’s been a very effective tool to limit the number of people who come here.

The fact that there’s a 14-day quarantine has been, uh, based on almost every conversation we’ve had with those folks, a real limiting factor with respect to people’s willingness to rent. Or, you know, book an Airbnb, or, or, or, ah, or a motel or a hotel room.

 

Later in the press conference, another reporter asked about the quarantine. Here’s a transcript of that exchange:

 

Reporter:  You talk about this 14-day quarantine.

 

Governor Charlie Baker:  Yeah.

 

Reporter:  I just want some more information. It’s not like a mandatory requirement, right?

 

Governor Charlie Baker:  It’s an advisory.

 

Reporter:  It’s more of an advisory. So —

 

Governor Charlie Baker:  But it definitely has had an impact, according to the lodging community, on people’s willingness to make reservations.

 

Reporter:  So, but I guess my point is like, [inaudible] … they could choose to ignore your advisory, and —

 

Governor Charlie Baker:  And they could do the same thing in any other state, too. It’s an advisory.

But generally speaking, it has had an impact on the decision making with respect to where people go.

 

Reporter:  Do you think it’s within the scope of your powers to make it mandatory to quarantine for 14 days?

 

Governor Charlie Baker:  That’s where you run into some pretty interesting constitutional questions.

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