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BOSTON – The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is advising Labor Day travelers to make informed decisions and plan ahead this coming holiday weekend. In addition to high traffic volumes on some routes, the pandemic means large gatherings should be avoided. There will be limited public amenities at some destinations, there will be a need to pack essential items including face coverings, and, if visiting specific states, travelers will be required to quarantine for 14 days upon return to Massachusetts.

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.

As Labor Day Weekend traditionally sees more vehicles than normal using roadways, MassDOT is taking several steps to ensure reliable travel, including:

  • Shutting down construction outside of most fixed work zones for the Labor Day travel period effective at 5 a.m., Friday, September 4. Scheduled road work will then resume at the start of normal business hours on Tuesday, September 8.
  • Deploying the High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane on I-93 between Boston and Quincy earlier than usual in the afternoon by opening at 1 p.m., on Friday, September 4. The HOV lane will have normal hours Friday morning and will be closed on Monday, September 7.
  • The additional “swing lane” on Route 1A southbound at the Sumner Tunnel remains suspended until further notice.

The public is reminded that Monday, September 7, 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, September 8.  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.

Due to the holiday weekend, the MBTA has released the following information regarding travel on Monday, September 7:

  • All subway and commuter rail lines, buses, trackless trolleys, and commuter rails will operate on a Sunday schedule.
  • There will be no service ferry service.
  • The RIDE will operate on a Sunday schedule.
  • Please note that there is no Sunday service for the Stoughton and Needham lines.
  • For more information, visit: www.mbta.com/holidays

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.

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