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COVID and Mass. Travel Restrictions Are Not Stopping Holiday Shoppers This Year

File Photo, NHPR

While many retailers are doing Black Friday a little differently this year, that didn't stop many from doing their holiday shopping in person.

At the Pheasant Lane Mall in Nashua, it looked like almost any other Black Friday, with some parking lots nearly filled, and plenty of out-of-state license plates.

Many shoppers crossed the border from Massachusetts, despite new travel restrictions. Massachusetts now considers New Hampshire a high-risk state, meaning anyone traveling from there needs to fill out a state travel form and quarantine for 14 days upon return, or present a negative COVID-19 test administered within 72 hours of arrival.

One shopper from Lowell said he wasn't aware of those new restrictions, and comes to New Hampshire to shop frequently.

"I just checked out the Dollar Store, so I'm bringing some money up here, which is good. Luckily the bus was running despite the whole virus thing," he said.

Shopping centers said they were expecting the good turnout of shoppers this year, and felt well-prepared despite having to enforce mask wearing and social distancing in stores.

Settler's Green, an outlet center in North Conway, was as busy as almost any other year today, according to public relations director Laura Lemieux.  She said they usually do a door-buster event at 6 a.m., but decided against it this year.

"It's one of those things that I just kinda said, I don't think we need like 45, 50 people piled up on each other, me opening the doors to them trying to get into raffles and free stuff," Lemieux said.

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