UPDATE: November 28, 2020
We're now down to one "lower risk": Hawaii.
If you're coming to MA from any other state, here's what you need to know.
UPDATE: November 21, 2020
The list of "lower risk" states has been reduced to two: Vermont and Hawaii.
If you're coming to MA from any other state, be prepared to quarantine for 14 days when you arrive or to prove that you've tested negative for COVID no more than 3 days before your arrival.
UPDATE: November 6, 2020
New executive orders and advisories take effect today.
The "Stay at Home Advisory" instructs that we should stay at home between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. Activities such as going to work, running critical errands to get groceries and address health needs, and taking a walk are allowed.
In addition, per Governor Baker's latest Executive Orders:
The list of "lower risk" states currently includes:
Please see my October 5th update to learn what you must do if you're coming to Cape Cod from a state that's not on the list.
UPDATE: October 25, 2020
The list of "lower risk" states currently includes:
Please see my October 5th update (below) to learn what to do if you're coming to Cape Cod from a state that's not on the list.
UPDATE: October 5, 2020
The list of "lower risk" states has been scaled back. It now includes only the following states:
If you'll be visiting Massachusetts from a state that's not on the lower-risk list, and you don't meet one of the limited exemptions, then you MUST:
If your COVID-19 test result has not been received prior to arrival, visitors, and residents must quarantine until they receive a negative test result.
Failure to comply may result in a $500 fine per day.
UPDATE: September 22, 2020
Here's the current list of "lower risk" states:
* Please see my August 1st update for travel implications of lower risk vs. higher risk state designation.
UPDATE: September 9, 2020
The list of "lower risk" states now includes:
UPDATE: August 29, 2020
As I mentioned in my August 1, 2020 update (below), Massachusetts' COVID-19 requirements are somewhat relaxed for visitors coming into MA from a "lower risk" state.
A few states have recently been added to the lower-risk list. It now includes:
* Please see my August 1, 2020 update to learn what you'll need to do if you plan to come to Massachusetts from a state that's not on the lower-risk list.
UPDATE: August 15, 2020
Just a quick FYI:
Due to over-crowding/lack of social distancing by beachgoers in recent weeks, the Town of Mashpee's Board of Selectmen have restricted the town's beaches to residents only.
Please, everyone ... if you're coming to the Cape, do your part to keep other towns from following suit. Follow all Covid-19 guidelines when you're at the beach!
UPDATE: August 1, 2020
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has issued a new Travel Order, effective today.
Unless you're coming into Massachusetts from a "lower risk state" (see below) or you meet one of the other limited exceptions to the Order, you'll be required to:
1. Complete a special travel form before coming into Massachusetts.
2. Quarantine for 14 days or produce a negative COVID-19 test result that has been administered up to 72-hours before your arrival in Massachusetts.
If your COVID-19 test result has not been received prior to arrival, you must quarantine until you receive a negative test result.
Failure to comply may result in a fine of $500 per day.
These requirements apply to visitors and to MA residents who have been out of state. Limited exceptions apply.
The "lower risk states" are:
Before making any travel plans, please click here for everything you need to know about the Massachusetts Travel Order.
UPDATE: July 6, 2020
Phase 3 re-opening is underway on the Cape. Historical and cultural sites, museums, outdoor performance venues, health and fitness centers, and some indoor recreational activities now have the green light to open.
Does that mean they'll all be open when you get here? Not necessarily. Some have already cancelled for the season. Others will open whenever they're prepared to welcome visitors.
Please be sure to check directly with the business, venue, attraction, etc. for details before you make any plans!
UPDATE: July 1, 2020
Hello from sunny Cape Cod!
With summer in full swing, lots of people have been asking me, "What's it like on the Cape now?" So, in this update I'll give you my insights on the things people are most curious about ...
Traffic Conditions - The last few weekends have (almost) seemed like "normal" summer with traffic at the bridges. There were miles-long traffic back-ups coming on-Cape on Friday and going off-Cape on Sunday. I've noticed an up-tick in traffic volume on our local roads, too. I expect this trend to continue for the Independence Day holiday weekend and in the weeks to come.
*Note: If you're wondering about the best times to travel on or off-Cape, have a look at my traffic page for suggestions.
Vacation Rentals - When Phase 2 re-opening was announced in June, the Cape Cod vacation rental market went off-the-charts crazy!
Many vacationers who normally come to the Cape for a week in the summer have opted to stay for 2 weeks, a month, or all summer. And they've been super-quick to snap up their preferred rental property.
Needless to say, property owners/managers are thrilled that their rental calendars are filled - or nearly filled - for July, August and even into September. For vacationers, though, vacation rental vacancies are getting tougher to find with every day that passes.
If you're planning to come to the Cape this summer, and you haven't reserved your rental yet, I highly recommend that you do it sooner than later.
*Note: As of this morning, some of the properties I've featured on my vacation rental page still have a few open weeks. If you see one you like, jump on it before someone beats you to it!
Hotels, Motels & Inns - They're filling up quickly, too. If you're hoping to stay at a hotel, motel or inn - especially one that's on the beach - it's a good idea to reserve your room soon to avoid disappointment.
Beaches - Cape Cod National Seashore officials have announced that
the Seashore will re-open on July 2nd, with some restrictions:
*Note: I haven't seen or heard any announcement about private beach campfires at Cape Cod National Seashore beaches, so I don't know when (or if) they'll be allowed in 2020.
When the National Seashore re-opens, I'll speak with a ranger about the Seashore's plans for beach campfires and issuing permits. As soon as I have any new info to share with you, I'll post it on my beach campfires page.
Until my next update ...
Stay well, everyone! Best wishes for a safe and fun Independence Day weekend!!
UPDATE: June 19, 2020
Beginning this coming Monday, June 22nd, Massachusetts will begin the second stage of Phase 2 re-opening.
Restaurants will be allowed to open for indoor service under strict hygiene, social distancing, and other health-related guidelines.
Restaurants with outdoor dining spaces will continue to seat and serve outdoors. Take-out is always an option, too!
UPDATE: June 8, 2020
Slowly but surely, it's beginning to feel like summer on Cape Cod.
As of today, Massachusetts has entered Phase 2 of re-opening.
* Note: Social distancing and personal protection/hygiene guidelines are still in effect. Please follow the guidelines on your visit to the Cape. Let's make this a fun, safe summer for everyone!
For more details about Phase 2 re-opening, check out this article from MassLive.
May 20, 2020
I hope you and your loved ones are staying well and making the best of these challenging times.
By now, you're probably aware that Massachusetts is in Phase 1 of a 4-phase re-opening plan.
What does that mean for this coming Memorial Day and beyond?
Beaches. The Cape's beaches are open now, as they have been all along. What hasn't been open is the parking lots.
That will change on Memorial Day (May 25th). Parking lots will re-open at most beaches, but parking spaces will be limited to comply with social distancing guidelines.
Many beaches that are normally lifeguarded will not be. Rest rooms, changing rooms, indoor showers, water stations, etc., will remain closed. Beach wheelchairs will not be available.
Beach-goers will be required to follow Phase 1 rules, including but not limited to:
Lodgings. Hotels, motels, inns, vacation rentals, etc. will not re-open to vacationers until Phase 2. Phase 2 is not expected to happen until June 8th at the earliest.
Food. Grocery stores are open. Restaurants will offer curb-side pick up/take-out only.
Activities, Attractions & Events. It's hit or miss, depending on whether social distancing and other health measures are possible in each setting.
For up-to-date information, confirm directly with the venue/sponsor before you make plans to go.
Beyond Phase 1
We're all looking forward to the day when we can have Cape Cod back as we know and love it.
I'm cautiously hopeful that Massachusetts' COVID numbers in MA will continue to go in the right direction allowing Phase 2 to kick in on or around June 8th.
Until then, if you do come to the Cape ... please, please, please follow the guidelines.
And if there's even a remote chance that you might be carrying the virus, please put your visit to the Cape off for a few more weeks.