Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer on Marthas Vineyard. With the state of Massachusetts still in the process of re-opening in what Gov. Charlie Baker has described as a flexible, four-phase process, what is allowed and what is recommended remains a moving target. Phase 1 in the re-opening process is now in effect.

Here is a list of answers to frequently asked questions that provide some general guidelines for returning seasonal residents and visitors. It will be updated as new information becomes available. If you have a question that you would like answered, email and we will try to answer it in this column.

Are ferries running normally?

Steamship Authority ferries run daily from 6 a.m. to 9:45 p.m. The boat line is operating on a reduced schedule, but is adding more trips within those hours as the season progresses. For the most up-to-date schedules, visit

Seasonal, passenger-only ferries include the Hy-Line, which begins daily service between Hyannis and Oak Bluffs June 5 (; Island Queen, with daily trips between Falmouth and Oak Bluffs beginning May 22 (; Falmouth-Edgartown Ferry, with weekend service starting May 21 (; the high-speed Seastreak from New York, New Jersey, New Bedford and Boston ( and the Rhode Island Fast Ferry from Quonset Point ( Patriot Party Boats runs a year-round passenger and small freight shuttle between Falmouth and Oak Bluffs, and offers after-hours water taxi service (

Is it safe to ride the ferries?

In addition to the regular cleaning of vessels between every trip, Steamship Authority crew members, bus drivers, parking lot attendants and terminal employees are disinfecting all hand railings, table tops, door handles, seats, faucets, and toilets both in between trips and during trips as needed. “We are well-stocked with cleaning supplies and have ordered extra hand sanitizers and other supplies for our customers to use while traveling with us,” the boat line said on its website.

Passengers are required to wear masks when boarding, disembarking and traveling inside all ferries, per Governor Baker.

What about the airport?

Martha’s Vineyard Airport remains open, but many carriers have reduced or delayed their regular schedules. Cape Air is operating on a reduced schedule and JetBlue has delayed seasonal service until at least July 1.

If I am arriving from out of state, do I have to self-quarantine for 14 days?

Governor Baker is still urging all out-of-state visitors to Massachusetts to voluntarily self-quarantine for 14 days.

Will I be welcome when I get to the Island?

Yes, as long as you join the Island community in observing state and local guidelines for wearing masks in public, social distancing at all times and keeping dogs on leashes, and understanding that this summer will be different from anything we’ve seen before.

What are the rules about wearing masks?

Wearing a mask is required inside all business establishments and outside whenever you are unable to stay at least six feet from others.

What about summer events? Will there be things to do?

Most of the signature summer events, including the Edgartown July Fourth parade, Illumination Night and the Ag Fair, have been canceled. The Playhouse has canceled its summer season. The Capawock and Strand movies theatres have gone dark for the summer, Edgartown Cinema is closed at the moment, as is the MV Film Center, which is offering movies online. Other events and their status are listed on the Complete Martha’s Vineyard Calendar.

Can I go to the beach?

Massachusetts beaches reopen on Memorial Day with restrictions including at least 12 feet between groups. Parking is being limited at several town beaches, including Lambert’s Cove, Philbin and Lucy Vincent, and restrictions are being considered on other public beaches. Masks do not need to be worn in the water. Ball games on beaches are prohibited.

Can I ride my bike?

Yes, on roads and trails where it is ordinarily allowed, with consideration for traffic, pedestrians and other cyclists.

Are Island trails open for hiking?

Properties managed by the Land Bank, Sheriff’s Meadow and the Trustees of Reservation are all open for hiking.  Hikers must follow posted rules and stay at least six feet from others. Dogs must be leashed.

What other activities are allowed?

Golf courses and tennis courts are open, with social distancing required. Charter fishing is permitted beginning on Memorial Day. Houses of worship are now open, and hair salons and pet grooming are allowed starting on Memorial Day. Island library buildings remain closed, but are permitted to begin reopening on Memorial Day.

Are restaurants open?

Sit-down dining is not allowed under Phase I, but many Island restaurants are now open for pickup and some offer home delivery. Our feature, What’s Open and What’s Closed on Martha’s Vineyard, is updated every day.

What about grocery stores and farm stands?

All of the Island grocery stores are open except for Up-Island Cronig’s. The West Tisbury Farmers Market returns June 13 at its new location at the Ag Hall. Many Island farmstands are open with different rules for ordering and pickup.  Retail stores are also allowed to open for curbside pickup starting on Memorial Day.

Are public restrooms available?

Town public bathrooms are opening for the season. Steamship Authority bathrooms are available year-round.

Are buses and taxis operating?

Vineyard Transit Authority buses run seven days a week, with additional routes expected to be added June 19. The VTA sanitizes its buses daily and has hand sanitizer stations aboard each vehicle. Schedules are posted at

Taxi services also are operating. Masks are required on all bus, taxi and share rides such as Lyft and Uber.

What should I do if I show symptoms of Covid-19? Is medical care available for non-virus issues?

If you experience symptoms of Covid-19 and don’t have a primary care physician on Island, call the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital's Call Center at 508-684-4500, between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends. For other medical emergencies, call 911. The hospital is in the process of reopening its other services, including pediatric care and elective procedures.