Maine's New Travel Bubble with Vermont and New Hampshire exempts visitors from those states from having to undergo the 14 day quarantine mandated for other out of state visitors. Meanwhile Vermont is creating travel bubbles with select Northeast counties that have similarly low coronavirus case counts, on a population-adjusted level, to Vermont.
Will this be how states with low COVID-19 case counts safely open up, in the face of still scarce coronavirus testing? If so, there could be multiple U.S. travel bubbles that mirror what we're seeing on on the international level–see New Travel Bubbles Emerging for more about the travel bubbles popping up in Europe and Asia.
Maine's Travel Bubble with Vermont and New Hampshire
Maine Governor Janet Mills announced that the Keep Maine Healthy will help reopen Maine hotels and tourism to visitors who are healthy, with the following components:
- Residents of Vermont and New Hampshire may visit Maine without undergoing quarantine or testing, because their active COVID-19 case counts per million are similar to that of Maine. No other states within a 12 hour drive of Maine have a similarly low prevalence of COVID-19.
- Visitors from other states may avoid the 14-day quarantine by receiving a negative COVID-19 test 72 hours or less prior to arriving in Maine. Visitors may also obtain a test upon arrival in Maine, but must quarantine in their lodging until they receive negative test results back.
- Visitors to Maine who are not Vermont or New Hampshire residents and do not get tested <72 hours prior to arriving in Maine or upon arrival in Maine must continue to quarantine for 14 days.
- Effective July 1, 2020, all visitors to Maine who are not residents of New Hampshire or Vermont who are checking into a hotel, rental, or campground will need to sign a Certificate of Compliance indicating they have received a negative COVID-19 test result (which they can then be asked to furnish), that they will quarantine for 14-days, or they have already completed a 14-day quarantine in Maine. Quarantine may not be completed in the visitor's home state, it must be completed in Maine.
Vermont's Travel Bubble with Select Low COVID-19 Counties
While Maine's travel bubble for leisure travel to Maine is with all New Hampshire and Vermont residents, Vermont has taken a far more targeted approach. It's permitting residents of select counties in the Northeast with <400 COVID-19 cases per million to be exempt from the state's 14-day quarantine. Every Monday at 5pm ET Vermont publishes the map; counties exempt from the quarantine are colored green. In the current map, just three Massachusetts counties and a handful of upstate New York counties qualify from those states, no Connecticut counties qualify, and most Maine counties apart from Southern Maine qualify.
Know of any other U.S. state travel bubbles? Let us know in the comments.
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