Seyfarth Synopsis: As we previously reported, on July 24, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker issued an Executive Order announcing a $500 daily civil fine, effective August 1, for individuals traveling into the Commonwealth who fail to comply with the State’s mandatory 14-day quarantine requirement.
Pursuant to the Order, the Department of Public Health (DPH) issued updated guidance clarifying how out-of-state travelers are expected to comply with the Order. In addition to the DPH Guidance, the State updated its sector-specific guidelines for several sectors to include guidelines consistent with the Travel Order.
In general, the sector-specific guidelines were updated to emphasize an employer’s responsibility to strongly discourage travel to high-risk locations and ensure that employees engaged in business-related travel were aware of and complied with the Order.
Additionally and of particular note for hotels, the guidance for lodging providers added clarity regarding a lodging provider’s responsibilities relative to their guests’ compliance with the new Order. Under prior guidance, lodging providers were urged, but not required, to inform guests at the time of their reservation and check-in of the State’s travel guidance. The updated guidance now requires lodging providers to inform guests at the time they make a reservation and again upon check-in about the out-of-state travel order and the guests’ obligation to quarantine for 14 days after arrival, or until they receive a negative test result, unless they meet an exemption under the Order. The new sector-specific guidance also encourages lodging providers to post signage on their websites and near their check-in desks with information about the State’s requirements for out-of-state travelers. Importantly, the updated guidance stops short of requiring lodging providers to monitor and enforce the self-quarantine requirements imposed by the Order.
In addition, the updated sector-specific guidance for indoor and outdoor events urges event venue operators to notify their clients of the Order, encourage their clients to inform out-of-state guests of the Order, and post information on their website about the requirements for out-of-state travelers.
We will continue to keep you apprised of any other significant developments in or changes to the Commonwealth’s sector-specific guidelines
Those with questions or concerns about any of these issues or topics are encouraged to reach out to the authors, your Seyfarth attorney, or any member of Seyfarth Shaw’s Labor & Employment Team.