Visitors ‘welcome,’ but urged to follow guidelines

Cape and Islands release updated guidelines that reflect Gov. Baker’s phase-one reopening plan.

Cars and SUVs were lined up for a ferry in Woods Hole Thursday afternoon. - George Brennan

On Friday afternoon, as the Memorial Day weekend got into full swing, state Sen. Julian Cyr, D-Truro, acting as a spokesman for the Cape Cod Reopening Task Force, announced updated guidelines for the Cape and Islands seasonal communities.

The updated timeline is effective through phase one, according to Cyr spokesman Frank Schulze. The guidelines contain “additional new guidance in Baker-Polito’s phase one reopening plan,” Schulze wrote. They recommend using “contactless pickup to support local businesses” during an “urged 14-day quarantine” for out-of-state travelers. The guidelines clarify that hotels and inns are open only to essential workers during phase one. The update also signifies “additional municipal and county governments signed on, including Dukes County.” 

“Even in the context of a summer that will look very different from years past, we welcome, appreciate, and depend on our seasonal residents and visitors as members of our own community,” Cyr said through a release. “It is imperative that each of us take responsibility for our own role in containing the spread of the virus as we look to reopen. In practice, this means wearing face covering when necessary, washing hands and surfaces often, keeping appropriate levels of distance, and staying vigilant for symptoms. Adherence to public health guidelines will determine the pace at which we can reopen and resume our regional tourism economy as it was in years past.” 

The Baker-Polito administration, regional healthcare providers, the Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket Chambers of Commerce, members of the Cape Cod Reopening Task Force, the Cape and Islands legislative delegation, and a coalition of county and municipal government leaders in the region helped develop the updated guidelines, the release states. 

Nancy Gardella, executive director of the Martha’s Vineyard Chamber of Commerce, said more businesses are now open, such as dentists and family doctors who can see nonemergency patients. Houses of worship too are now authorized to open, though some on the Vineyard have opted to continue providing services remotely. More businesses are expected to open Monday, she said, like salons and pet groomers. 

Gardella emphasized the 14-day quarantine for out-of-state travelers employs the word “urge.” 

“People have to be thoughtful when they come here,” she said.

Asked if it will impact the day-trippers who come to Oak Bluffs and other up-Island towns, she said, “Absolutely.”

But she added options are limited right now for such travelers. She said restaurant owners and those who provide lodging are extremely eager to get their businesses operational. Phase two will be “critical” for that, she said. 

Oak Bluffs selectmen chair Brian Packish also emphasized the word “urge” in relation to the 14-day quarantine, and said he doesn’t see anything “new or surprising” in that aspect of the updated guidelines. He said the urging for quarantine is slated to go all way through phase two, which “theoretically” would be July. 

He said it would be “a bit of a surprise” if guidelines urging a quarantine stretched into phase three. 


  1. Seriously, how realistic is “urged 14 day quarantine” for out-of-state travelers..?
    They all must replaced this November coming up with that craziness!

  2. So a visitor stays 2 nights at a hotel on June 9 and they will be urged to stay another 12 nights? The incompetence and utter foolishness of our state leaders is unfathomable.

    • You should read the article before commenting, a hotel can only have essential workers checked in.

  3. The big news today was a reorganization of the CDC website page titled “how-covid-spreads”.
    The page used to list surface spreading as a casue of Covid equal to person to person spreading.
    It now demphasizes the role of surface spreading.
    “COVID-19 is a new disease and we are still learning about how it spreads. It may be possible for COVID-19 to spread in other ways, but these are not thought to be the main ways the virus spreads.

    From touching surfaces or objects. It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. This is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads, but we are still learning more about this virus.”

    See this page for more information

  4. Next week we will probably find out from the CDC that this Virus is spread by the toilet paper when one wipes his own mouth, wipes his nose, possibly their eyes and definitely their butts.

    • tis– of course the virus can be spread by toilet paper. That’s why you should not blow your nose or wipe your butt with toilet paper someone else has used recently.
      it’s just plain old common sense.

  5. I was fishing on the bridge and two people approached. They were from Brooklyn,MY said they had just arrived. They were out on a bike ride.No masks. Obviously not quarantining. Oh by the way, they were Biden supporters, learned this by the Biden pin they wore. Lol. Only when convenient do the adhere to the socialist guidelines. What a joke. Nobody is going to follow.these urged guidlines. Peoples.vacation is more important.Same people opposed to opening business. Now Fauci says lockdowns are dangerous if continued.

    • Difficult to follow your logic? disjointed and juxtaposition comparisons Crayson sounds like you need a vacation

    • Weird, I saw people wearing MAGA hats and fishing and standing in small groups without masks. The president’s guidelines, which suggested that drinking bleach could kill the virus and that wearing a mask makes people (him) look weak, are about all Trump supporters can manage these days, lol. For safer guidelines, listen to the medical experts and try to understand the fluidity of changing recommendations. Don’t listen to the dopes who suggest all kinds of nonsense, even if the biggest dope of all is in the White House.

      • MAGA hats / without masks???
        Sounds like another Juicy Smollett Fairy Tale. In any event, Dementia Joe (“you ain’t black enough”) will fix everything in November.

        • I was being facetious. Didn’t think I’d have to explain that. Of course it’s not true, just like Crayson never saw Biden pins. Utterly ridiculous. For the record, every person of color and every one who isn’t racist knows who the racist is, and it ain’t Joe, despite an awkward comment which you have purposely misquoted. That would make your comment fake, false and a lie.

    • crayson– fortunately, since you were wearing a mask, you were somewhat protected from them, and they were somewhat protected from you. Good work– keep being responsible.

    • If anyone thinks the people who rent for 2 weeks, or a month, are going to quarantine for two weeks they are dreaming!!!! People do not want to “waste” 2 weeks of their vacation, no matter how long they come for!!

    • crayson– Biden “pins” ? are you sure about that ? really ? no “funzies ” you’re not making this up, right ? Let’s get this clear–You were fishing, some people came up to you and struck up a conversation, volunteered that they had just arrived from the hottest corona virus spot on earth, and were flouting Biden “pins”. And it just so happens that they decide to strike up this conversation with an ardent trump supporter who thinks the economy should be opened up regardless of the death toll.
      I’m sorry, crayson, but i am doubting that all the details of this story are actually accurate.
      We all know that conservatives ( which you are ) do not value the truth.
      So— would you care to confirm that story ? Yup, I’m calling you on it– I don’t think it’s true– Double down, and I MAY give you the benefit of the doubt.

      • “We all know that conservatives ( which you are ) do not value the truth.”

        Quite a blanket statement, Don. If you have a chance and time, check out the link, below. It is amusing and I think you might get a chuckle out of it.

        “How a liberal learned to respect conservative thinking
        (and accept the fact that, yes, the right is happier than the left)”

  6. As the Memorial Day weekend goes into full swing it says.
    It bothers me that Memorial Day has become more of a kick off to the summer than a day of remembering are fallen men and women that sacrificed their life for this country.
    It just seams to me that the meaning of the day is being forgotten more and more as the years go by.
    To all of the fallen Hero’s and Those who still stand that have served I Salute You. Thank You for your Service.

    • BigT — you are correct– little thought is actually given to those who made the sacrifice.
      Thank you for reminding us..

  7. The “urged 14 day quarantine” is more of a gentle suggestion that, from my experience and talking to folks, seems to mean very different things to different people. I think most understand this to mean arriving and not leaving the house for two weeks. But it’s surprising how many interpret it to mean arriving and going out for errands, picking up takeout food, going to the beach and enjoying nature with social distancing the same as everyone else is doing. Personally, I don’t see a problem with that. If people are careful and wearing masks let them enjoy our beautiful island. There is really no evidence that outdoor transmission of covid poses a great risk (for those who need the facts: From all the evidence we have about the virus it seems that the more time people are able to spend outdoors in open air the less likely it is to spread. I really can’t see how having beaches partially open and half of the parking spots blocked off is doing anything to help.

  8. gardener, from the link you provided, “This article is a preprint and has not been peer-reviewed [what does this mean?]. It reports new medical research that has yet to be evaluated and so should not be used to guide clinical practice.”

  9. A trump supporter accusing Biden of “dementia” is hilarious! Victims of gaslighting. Trump is A non-coherent imbecile. Keep drinking the bleach though.

  10. sunshine– You may have noticed that the conservative’s great leader is a compulsive liar.
    he lies every day, all day about everything. From obvious lies before he was elected that Obama was not born in the U.S and was a Muslim, he won the electoral college by a bigger margin than any else, His inauguration was the biggest ever, he would not play golf as president, he didn’t pay off a porn star,
    and about 20,000 other verifiable lies. Twitter just started putting a disclaimer on some of his tweets that are blatant lies, and could result in the deaths of U.S citizens. We have the virus under control, it’s just a flu, anyone who wants a test can get a test. Jarad Kushner re wrote the guidelines after he said the federal stockpile of ppes were not for the states.
    Some of these things matter… And you what ? not a singlwe trump supporter on theis forum has ever criticized him for it. “Hillary Lies”, they say. They give trump a pass every time.
    On May 26 th I listened to rush limbaugh tell his flock of kool aid drinking sheep, that the democrats want to keep the country locked down just so that trump can’t have rallies….
    Lies, lies and lies. And not a single republican cares..
    Yup, my comment is quite a blanket statement.
    The problem is, as much as I don’t like to over generalize a large group of people, my comment is true.
    Conservatives only care about lying when it doesn’t apply to their narrow version of reality.

    • Dondondon. You were not truthful to this Posting when you told everyone that I reneged on my wager. You did not accept my wager in the time allotted and you know it. When the numbers got worse, you came back and accepted the wager.

      • Andrew– it is getting a little tiring for me to continually have to point out that there was in fact no time line.
        Note that you comment and ensuing wager was sent to the times at 6:34 am on Mach 8– That was a Sunday. I don’t know when it actually posted. often, new posts are not put on line on Sundays.
        Here is your entire comment .

        andrew March 8, 2020 at 6:34 am

        “Dondondon. You are always asking me to wager on things. You who politicize the virus and blame it on Trump and exaggerate it beyond proportion, I will now ask you to make a bet with me for one thousand dollars. How about 1000 people in the US die from Coronavirus, Small number since this is a pandemic. If we dont reach that threshold you pay me. You wont take that bet because you know its not gonna happen. As for Trump being a ”complete idiot” will you soon be concerned with Biden’s diminished mental capacity and cognitive decline.? I promise you the 1000 dollars if I lose. I will chase you on your non CO2 spewing bicycle and hand you the money.”

        I have read this a number of times. I do not see anything alluding to a time frame. Could you please point out to us which part of the above comment mentions that ?
        That is your full post, Andrew.
        I was in Barbados and flew to Boston on the 10th.
        I arrived back on island on the 11 th and posted my comment at 8:18 pm, as soon as I saw yours .
        Now in terms of the number of deaths that occurred during those 84 hours.
        When you posted , there were 22 confirmed deaths in the U.S
        When I posted, there were 38.
        That’s a difference of just 16 deaths.
        Not significant when we are talking about getting to 1,000.
        Now you can claim that you said something you didn’t and claim that somehow, those 16 extra deaths made the bet void.
        But, Andrew– it’s all right there. You should quit digging and not do more damage to your reputation than you already have.
        You were the one who stuck your foot in your mouth. Don’t try to put your other foot in there also. I could be awkward.

        • dondondon. No matter how many times you say it–it is not true. You did not accept the wager and I moved on.

      • andrew, as you sometimes cite Scripture here, this is in a context that you might understand, “If a man vows a vow to the Lord, or swears an oath to bind himself by a pledge, he shall not break his word. He shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth.”

        • bulkington–Andrew says you know “nothing of the facts of this dispute”.
          This is quite like trump calling reporters “fake news” and refusing to answer questions. If you read my comment above , you know everything about this.
          The fact is that Andrew made the bet, when called on it said there was some sort of time limit to my acceptance, which is a straight up lie. There was no other correspondence . There is nothing else.
          Now he decides to attack you, and pretends there are some other details you don’t know, and for some reason should admit that there are .
          You have directly quoted appropriate scripture to him, and he accuses you of ignorance. Pretty amazing.
          Again, I will refer to the example set by our duly elected president. He lies, lies and lies some more. Conservatives don’t care, and get used to the idea that a bold face lie to anyone about anything can be dealt with a little bullying of the people who question the lie.
          And that’s why we have over 100,000 dead Americans in less than 4 months from a disease that could have been much less lethal.

      • Andrew, after plagiarizing a Salvation Army article as your latest lecture to me about bitterness and forgiveness, (under “The coming climate”), do you really want to tell someone else that they are not truthful?

    • “Yup, my comment is quite a blanket statement. “

      Indeed. Thank you. Just a hasty over-generalization. Yep.

      Arguments based on generalizations can be extremely suspect and are examples of jumping to conclusions.

      Enjoy! 😉

  11. So many people are talking about visitors staying at hotels, Airbnb, and short term type rentals. I’m curious on the thoughts of visitors who have private homes there. We have been quarantined in our home in Virginia and I need a break. We have a private family home that we don’t rent out. Access is limited to our family. No one has been there since October. What is the consensus on me driving up and quarantining there? I was urged not to go because of rumors Islanders are “shaming” people with out of town plates.

    • bored.– I have been a vineyard resident for 33 years. You have every right to come here and you don’t have to explain anything to the narrow minded people who think the “others” are the ones we have to worry about. This is America– the # 1 most infected country on the planet. We are all in this together.
      We voted an ignorant unprepared narcissist into the white house and he blew it when it comes to this pandemic. It’s not your problem.
      And just for the record– Massachusetts has nearly triple the cases and deaths as Virginia. Does anyone there shame people with Mass. plates ?
      Be careful when you get here.
      Please ignore ignorance, and those who would shame you.
      Shame on them.

    • Boredhistory, a lot of the concerns about shorter rentals are due to how quickly they change hands. Often in the same day, which can make it hard for cleaners to get in there and disinfect. I think your situation sounds lower risk and is in keeping with the current guidelines. Thank you for being willing to quarantine.

      • 🌊🌊 This response to boredhistory is sound and thoughtful. For everyone.
        Refreshing. 🌊🌊


    • You don’t need a consensus. It’s your house. If they try to ring their bell of shame at you, just give them a condescending smile and a wave. Or, better yet, offer them a handshake in the spirit of camaraderie.

      • “… just give them a condescending smile and a wave…”

        Right. Just smile and wave! It doesn’t even have to be in a condescending fashion.


  12. You won’t be alone if you come to MV from another state. I watched a lot of different plates rolling off the ferry the other day, and most of them looked like they were just arriving for the summer with the usual luggage in the back and bikes on the bumper, etc. Probably not the crowds of other years, but still substantial numbers arriving. Personally, I’m not worried about where people are from as much as how they act. Take reasonable precautions, avoid crowded indoor spaces, wear a mask, and wash your hands. That makes you an infinitely safer visitor than the many MA residents moving back and forth from the hotspots within the state and not taking precautions seriously!

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