BOSTON – The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is reminding members of the public to plan ahead for the upcoming holiday season, utilize the appropriate technology tools to make informed decisions, and be aware there may be limited public amenities on trips due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition, travelers should pack essential items including face coverings, and, if visiting specific states, travelers will be required to quarantine for 14 days upon return to Massachusetts.
“As per the CDC’s strong recommendation, we are asking people not to travel during these next few weeks of the holiday season because of Covid-19,” said Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver, adding, “But if you must be on the roadway, you are advised to plan ahead, minimize stops, be aware of all out-of-state quarantine requirements, wear a face covering if you are traveling with someone not living in your household, and take all necessary precautions to protect yourself and your family.”
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has information about the pandemic and regulations pertaining to COVID-19, including the need to quarantine for 14 days when returning to Massachusetts after visiting specific states. Information can be found at: www.mass.gov/coronavirus.
The High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane on I-93 between Boston and Quincy will extend its hours to be open from 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., on Tuesday, December 22, and from 1:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., on Wednesday, December 23. The HOV Lane will only be deployed during the morning of Thursday, December 31. The HOV lane will be closed on Thursday, December 24, Friday, December 25, and Friday, January 1 and will resume normal morning and evening operations on Monday, January 4. Meanwhile, the Sumner Tunnel swing lane continues to remain suspended until further notice.
No work outside fixed work zones beginning Thursday, December 24, at 5 a.m. through Monday, December 28th, at 5:00 a.m. and again beginning Thursday, December 31st, at 5 a.m. through Sunday, January 3rd, at 5 a.m.
For information about MBTA schedules on Thursday, December 24, Friday, December 25, and Thursday, December 31, please visit: www.mbta.com/holidays. The Commuter Rail will operate on a Sunday schedule on Friday, Christmas Day, December 25. There will be no bus diversion on Christmas day and the following weekend, December 26 and 27, except between West Gloucester and Rockport station on the Rockport Line.
Customers are reminded that face masks or face coverings are required while onboard MBTA vehicles and within the MBTA system. For more information and travel tips, please visit www.mbta.com/ridesafer.
The public is reminded that Friday, December 25 and Friday, January 1 are state holidays and among offices closed are those of the Registry of Motor Vehicles. Customer service centers which have been open during the pandemic will reopen by appointment only on Monday, December 28 and Monday, January 4.
Meanwhile, AAA members may visit any AAA location by appointment for some Registry transactions and more than 40 Registry transactions can be done online: www.mass.gov/RMV.
Massport is expecting an increase in passengers at Boston Logan International Airport around the holiday season. The Authority has taken a number of precautions at Logan International Airport in order to ensure passengers have a safe and healthy travel experience. These initiatives include:
- Enhanced cleaning efforts, focusing on high-traffic touch points throughout the terminals, walkways, baggage and garage facilities
- Face coverings are now required for all passengers and visitors while at the airport
- There are a number of floor markers and signage in place to remind passengers to maintain social distancing
- Airline ticket counters and boarding areas, as well as concessions and TSA checkpoints all have touchless transactions
- All bathrooms are now equipped with touchless soap and water dispensers, and touchless hand sanitizer stations are located throughout each terminal
- Travelers departing from Logan should be aware of any travel restrictions at their destination
- Travelers arriving at Logan Airport should be aware the Commonwealth is asking visitors to fill out an online travel form, to self-quarantine for 14 days or produce a negative coronavirus test. The online form and more information can be found here:
- Coronavirus testing is now available at Logan Airport’s Terminal E Arrivals area. The testing facility, known as XPresCheck, is offering a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or nasal swab test, a blood antibody test, and the rapid COVID test. Those interested can get more information and make an appointment on www.xprescheck.com
Drivers are reminded that if transporting other people who are not in the immediate family, face coverings should be worn by everyone in that vehicle.