BOSTON (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 Statehouse 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.

A look at other coronavirus developments in Massachusetts:



Massachusetts reported 10 confirmed COVID-19-related deaths Tuesday, bringing the total number of confirmed and probable deaths since the beginning of the pandemic to 8,340 in the state.

There were 303 newly confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, reported Tuesday — bringing the total number of confirmed and probable cases to more than 112,000 in Massachusetts since the start of the pandemic.

There were 560 people reported hospitalized Tuesday because of COVID-19, while 93 were in intensive care units.

The number of confirmed and probable COVID-19 related deaths at long-term care homes rose to 5,282 — or more than 63% of all confirmed and probable deaths in Massachusetts attributed to the disease.



Public school teachers across Massachusetts are asking for a phased-in approach to the reopening of schools this fall, similar to the state's multi-phased economic restart.

The plan is outlined in a Public School Reopening Proposal released Monday by the Massachusetts Teachers Association, the American Federation of Teachers of Massachusetts, and the Boston Teachers Union.

The first phase is a period of preparation for teachers and support professionals that could include setting up classrooms and learning about new health and safety protocols.

The second phase would allow teachers to set up one-on-one meetings with students and their families, either in-person or remotely, to prepare them for the new health and safety protocols and for evaluating each student's needs.

The third phase is a six-week resumption of lessons, either in-person, remotely or a hybrid model to establish the school climate and culture and set expectations and rules.

The fourth stage would be a period of assessment.

The unions are also calling for health and safety guidelines that include surveying each district for protective equipment needs, and checking and updating HVAC systems.

The unions say they plan to discuss their proposal with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.



Food trucks that are typically clustered around downtown Boston will be allowed to visit neighborhoods across the city for the first time in an effort to help small businesses amid the pandemic, Mayor Marty Walsh announced Tuesday.

The initiative, which starts Friday, establishes about two dozen sites across the city, including parks, playgrounds and other public spaces, where mobile eateries with prior city approval will be allowed to operate from noon to 7 p.m. each day.

Walsh also said Tuesday his order exempting establishments from the city’s plastic bag restrictions — including a five-cent bag fee — will be extended at least through Sept. 30.

And, starting July 23, City Hall will reopen on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays for scheduled appointments, the mayor announced. Public meetings will still be conducted remotely, however.


Mark Pratt and Philip Marcelo contributed to this report.