WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — It’s been a little over a week since new travel restrictions and guidelines were put into place in Rhode Island as the state entered Phase 3.
While Rhode Island’s rate of new COVID-19 cases has been on the decline, Gov. Gina Raimondo set up the restrictions in response to the growing number of cases in other states around the country.
“We have the best beaches in America. There’s no place better to spend a summer weekend than in the Ocean State. We would love to have you visit us and enjoy our beaches and restaurants, but we do have rules,” Raimondo said during her briefing on Wednesday.
Any travelers coming to Rhode Island from states with a 5% or higher positivity rate are required to self-quarantine for 14 days. As of Wednesday, there are 28 states on that list, along with Puerto Rico.
Travelers who provide proof of testing negative with 72 hours of arrival or get tested in Rhode Island are exempt from the requirement.
People at T.F. Green Airport in Warwick on Wednesday were in favor of the restrictions, even those traveling from one of the states on the list.
“We are picking up our grandson that’s coming from South Carolina,” Denise Young said. “With the restriction, if you are coming from the South or those places it has elevated a lot the coronavirus, you should be quarantined. It’s a bit excessive, but right now, we don’t want this thing to skyrocket here again.”
Victor Cruz said he even changed his vacation when he got word of the restrictions.
“We know a lot of people that are in New Hampshire, so we decided to take the kids to a state that we knew wasn’t very chaotic and had a lot of outdoor activities,” he said. “We were contemplating traveling to Florida but because my son has asthma, if we know its a risk area, we won’t go there.”
There are some exceptions to the requirements, including:
- Public health, public safety or healthcare workers
- People traveling for medical treatment
- Traveling to attend a funeral or memorial service
- Obtaining necessities such as groceries, gas or medication
- Dropping off or picking up children from day care and summer camps
- Anyone who must work on their boats
If you get tested after traveling to Rhode Island, the state asks that you quarantine until you receive your results. You can stop quarantining if you test negative, however, you’ll still need to wear a mask in public and monitor for COVID-19 symptoms.