A car drives by a warning sign outside a popular South Portland park in April 2020. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

People traveling from Massachusetts will be required to show evidence of a negative COVID-19 test or quarantine for 14 days beginning on Monday, Nov. 16, Gov. Janet Mills announced Friday.

The decision by the Mills administration came after there was an “alarming increase” in the prevalence of COVID-19 in Massachusetts, Mills’ Press Secretary Lindsay Crete said. Mills had lifted requirements that visitors from Massachusetts follow such restrictions in late September after instituting them early in the pandemic.

It also comes as coronavirus cases spike across Maine, with 247 new cases and three deaths on Friday. As Mills fights to reduce infection rates across the state, she said limiting out-of-state travelers as we inch closer to the holiday season was vital, even if it requires potential economic loss.

“I recognize this will be an inconvenience for many,” Mills said. ”But it is in the interest of public health and can keep people, including our loved ones, healthy and safe this holiday season.”

Beginning on Monday, New Hampshire and Vermont will be the only states that are exempt from Maine’s travel restrictions. Travel from Connecticut, New York and New Jersey was exempt until Nov. 4.

Mills has often crafted her rules for out-of-state travel based on if the state in question has COVID-19 rates that are similar or lower than Maine’s. Massachusetts has seen a COVID-19 rate 2.5 times Maine’s, with 3,384 cases per million people over the last 14 days. It has also had a 2.5 percent positive test rate compared to Maine’s 1.8 percent rate during that same period, Crete said.

Travelers from Massachusetts make up a vital part of Maine’s tourism industry. The state’s hospitality industry had fought to remove Massachusetts from quarantine requirements previously, citing lost revenue.

The new restrictions apply to anybody traveling from Massachusetts to Maine, even if they are a Maine resident. The evidence of a negative test must be from within 72 hours of arrival in Maine.