Travel restrictions between New Hampshire and Massachusetts worry businesses

By Elyse Kelly | The Center Square

As travel restrictions between states tighten, particularly in New Hampshire’s neighboring state Massachusetts, businesses once again are among the most concerned.

New Hampshire allows free flow between New England states including Vermont, Maine, Rhode Island and Massachusetts, but requires a 14-day quarantine or 7-day quarantine with a negative test at the end before travelers from any other states are allowed to mingle, according to Safer at Home New Hampshire.

Massachusetts, however, recently placed New Hampshire on its high-risk state list, requiring travelers, including residents, to quarantine for 14 days or produce a negative COVID-19 test upon crossing the border from New Hampshire into Massachusetts, as reported by New Hampshire Public Radio.


“What is not clear to me is how willing Massachusetts folks will be to take a trip up here and quarantine for 14 days when they get home,” Somers said.

For businesses in border towns like Salem and Nashua this means many of their customers must be willing to quarantine for 14 days after popping over to have a bite to eat or visit their favorite shop.

It is too soon to tell how much of an impact these restrictions are going to have, Mike Somers, CEO and president of the New Hampshire Lodging and Restaurant Association, told The Center Square.

“But I will say that I think there is a significant amount concern from those border town restaurants simply because the border between Massachusetts and New Hampshire is obviously very porous,” Somers told The Center Square. “People travel back and forth on a regular basis.”

“What is not clear to me is how willing Massachusetts folks will be to take a trip up here and quarantine for 14 days when they get home,” Somers said.

Many of those prospective customers are already working from home, and so could potentially consider a quick trip over the border worth a 14-day quarantine, Somers said. He allowed for the possibility that this could mitigate their concerns, but time will tell, he said.

Another big question playing into the real effect of these restrictions is how they will be enforced. NHPR reported one shopper from Lowell, Mass, who entered New Hampshire to shop unaware of the restrictions.

“It’s great to have these restrictions, but unless they’re planning on following every person that crosses from New Hampshire into Massachusetts home or to a business or wherever, I’m not sure how you would enforce that,” Somers said.

Attracting custom isn’t the only concern for restaurants and businesses. Thanksgiving gave New Hampshire employers a taste of the difficulties surrounding employees traveling out of New England to visit family under the new restrictions. Understaffed restaurants now must contend with employees taking an extra two weeks of vacation to quarantine.

“It’s certainly created a lot of pressure on the workforce and it’s created a lot of issues for businesses to stay open,” Somers said. “And I will say they are struggling to find staff now, so that’s going to make it even worse.”

Image courtesy of Wikipedia/Famartin

5 thoughts on “Travel restrictions between New Hampshire and Massachusetts worry businesses

  1. The Ladies below each have more common sense than all the “Leaders” north of the Mason Dixon Line have combined!

    That’s it, a good part of the solution to getting the country back on track from the bad decisions and wrong-headed mandates imposed on us all from almost day one of this genetically manipulated “pandemic”.

    Right on!

  2. Keep calm and carry on. The Truth and the Constitution are on your side. We ARE Free People.

    Business owners take note of this:
    We are not shopping and spending our money at places that give us grief.
    It’s up to YOU The Business owner to get your boots on and fight the battle against this tyrannical government right along side of us.
    Business owners should be fighting for The RIGHT to serve their patrons how they want to be served.
    Wear a mask if you feel you want to that, but leave all the people that choose to not wear a mask alone.
    OR ELSE.
    You are going to find that you have lost a huge portion of your customer base that chose to shop online or elsewhere- yes, there are places we can go where things are pretty normal because they are owned by people not playing this game. Believe me, we know where they are.
    We know where the Patriot Owned Businesses Are.

    And guess what, no business up here can make it on only half the population.
    So when your business has gone down the drain, don’t come crying to us.
    It’s not Covid that shut you down.
    YOU shut YOU Down, because you didn’t fight the forces that were making you create a lousy experience in your own business that the market rejected.

    • Prescient…was at Walpole liquor store – female clerk walked up to me with a mask -saying they’re mandatory. Stated I cannot wear a mask and that governors of both VT and NH gave similar edicts which state that those not wearing masks are presumed not to be able to. Clerk said *people* are not wearing them bc they don’t want to. Went to register and she was polite but said ppl who cannot wear a mask should wear a face sheild – said I didn’t expect to be verbally assaulted while making a purchase.

      Think of it – clerk was holding a supposedly sanitary mask, not a box – touching it with own possibly Covid-infested hands? And was closer than 6′- like 2′.

      Other clerk following mocking laughter said ‘you are assaulting us you’ve made your purchase pls leave’ I was stunned.

      At Ocean State Job Lots – walked in a clerk said masks mandatory. Said I can’t wear one – she called the store manager in full view of other shoppers. Once again stated aforementioned – he said that’s not the way his store is interpereting the mandate.

      On to DG – nervously glanced at clerks and quickly headed to destination glancing over shoulder – safe at last or so I thot. approached line w/one @ register one waiting – “Karen” said loudly when I was 12-15′ away “thats close enough with no mask.” Politely stated that it’s 6′ ma’am and moved forward to like8′. When she was done making purchase continued to linger – stayed back waiting patiently concerned she was baiting me to cause a scene.

  3. It’s all a terrible waste of time and money. Protect the vulnerable, where a mask if you can’t social distance, and blah blah blah. We all know what to do. For heaven’s sake open things up and let this virus, with a survival rate of 99%, go through our communities. I can’t stand this lunacy any longer.

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