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Lawmakers Seek To Mandate Masks, Quarantine For Visitors

People wearing protective masks stand on the corner during a busy day on Newbury Street, July 11, 2020, in Boston. (Michael Dwyer/AP)
People wearing protective masks stand on the corner during a busy day on Newbury Street, July 11, 2020, in Boston. (Michael Dwyer/AP)

Face masks and two-week quarantines for travelers entering Massachusetts from COVID-19 hot spots would be required under a bill filed at the State House on Tuesday.

The bill would also prioritize COVID-19 testing for vulnerable populations and mandate enforcement of workplace safety requirements designed to protect both workers and the public.

Both the face mask and quarantine requirements would be enforced with fines under the bill.

Republican Gov. Charlie Baker has already ordered the wearing of masks and has advised visitors to Massachusetts to quarantine for two weeks — except for a handful of nearby states.

One of the sponsors of the bill, state Sen. Harriet Chandler, D-Worcester, said with no vaccine yet available, the state needs to write the public health protocols into law.

“We have proven practices to curb the spread of viral infection: wearing face masks, ensuring widely available testing, finalizing formal workplace safety standards, and quarantining tourists coming from hotbed states,” Chandler said in a press release. “But they only work if we all participate.”

She urged lawmakers to pass the measure before the return of college students in the fall.

The Legislature’s formal session ends July 31.

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