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BOSTON – The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is reminding members of the public to plan ahead for the upcoming Columbus Day weekend, 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.

“With COVID-19 restrictions in place we would ask all travelers to follow all guidance and social distancing precautions,” said Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver. “MassDOT’s first priority is safety and we encourage travelers to plan their trip in advance and utilize all resources to make good decisions during this holiday weekend.”

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.

In addition, specific travel-related rules can also be found at a website set up when the Governor’s Executive Order pertaining to travel was signed:  www.mass.gov/MAtraveler.

The High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane on I-93 between Boston and Quincy will open early for the afternoon commute at 2:00 p.m., on Thursday, October 8, and 1:00 p.m., on Friday, October 9. The HOV lane will be closed on Monday, October 12, and will then re-open during regularly scheduled hours on Tuesday, October 13. The Sumner Tunnel swing lane remains suspended until further notice.

For information about MBTA schedules please visit: www.mbta.com/holidays

The public is reminded that Monday, October 12, is a state holiday 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 Tuesday, October 13.

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.

For traffic and road conditions, drivers may use the following options to make decisions:

  • Download MassDOT’s GoTime mobile app and view real-time traffic conditions before setting out on the road.
  • Visit www.mass511.com to view travel times, road construction, traffic alerts or crashes along a route. Incidents, road closures, lane closures, real-time live traffic cameras, and weather alerts/forecasts, can all be viewed on the interactive live Traffic Map.
  • Dial 511 from a landline or cell phone to hear information on current conditions on major roadways.
  • Register for a Mass511 account to create and personalize routes and alerts to be notified of events on those routes ahead of time.
  • Follow MassDOT on Twitter @MassDOT to find out about impacts on traffic flow on major state highways.

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation wishes all members of the public a safe and enjoyable holiday.

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