Residents of Massachusetts are now exempt from the COVID-19 travel restrictions imposed on people from most other states.

The current requirements for most travelers to Maine involve either getting a negative test result before entering the state or quarantining for two weeks after arriving here. A few states are exempt from these requirements, because their positivity rate resembles that of Maine, including Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, and now Massachusetts.

Maine's Keep Maine Healthy Plan has been mimicked by several other states, including Massachusetts, which was hard-hit by the virus early on. However, Governor Mills and the Maine CDC say the current climate is similar to Maine's, causing health officials to make it easier for Massachusetts residents to visit Maine, and Mainers to return to the state after traveling to Massachusetts.

"Protecting the health and safety of Maine people has always been our first and foremost goal," Governor Mills said in a media release. "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."

Dr. Nirav Shah says, although the requirements have changed, the Maine CDC still recommends that people traveling from the exempt states take advantage of readily available testing options. Testing was opened up to everyone this week, without the need for a recommendation from a health professional.

As of September 22, 2020, Maine ranks 2nd lowest in the nation in terms of positive cases (adjusted for population); 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 46 state reporting.