03-15_Baker

Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito

ATTLEBORO — Yes, Rhode Islanders, you can come shop in South Attleboro or grab a coffee in Seekonk without running afoul of the Bay State’s quarantine requirements.

Gov. Charlie Baker, speaking at a Friday afternoon news conference, clarified the state’s latest travel restrictions that had left some Ocean State residents confused about whether they could cross the state line to run errands.

“Go to the store, do your shopping, wear your face mask, keep six feet apart from people, and go home,” Baker said.

The travel ban means that people arriving in Massachusetts from higher-risk states have to fill out a form and quarantine for 14 days.

The ban applies to Bay State residents returning from a higher-risk state and people who are entering Massachusetts from a higher-risk state.

Rhode Island was designated a higher-risk state after a rise in coronavirus cases there.

Travelers who produce a negative coronavirus test in the 72 hours prior to their arrival are exempt from the quarantine. Those who violate the order can face a $500 fine.

Massachusetts last week published a list of exceptions, including for people commuting to work or traveling for medical appointments.

But neither the order nor the list mentioned anything about Rhode Islanders who shop at South Attleboro’s Market Basket, go for a latte at the Seekonk Starbucks or pick up a Massachusetts lottery ticket at Vista Donuts on the Pawtucket line.

Baker said “transitory” activities such as grocery shopping or banking were not included in the ban.

But he added at the Friday news conference “if you do go to Rhode Island, or if you go anywhere in Massachusetts, you’d better wear a face covering, and I don’t think you should be doing recreational activities.”

Tom Reilly can be reached at 508-236-0332 or treilly@thesunchronicle.com. Follow him on Twitter @Tomreillynews

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