The state of Massachusetts is now in the second phase of re-opening in what Gov. Charlie Baker has described as a flexible, four-phase process; phase 3 begins Monday, July 6.

Here is a list of answers to frequently asked questions that provide some general guidelines for returning seasonal residents and visitors during this phase. 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.

Up-to-date information on restaurants and other businesses that are operating can be found in What's Open, What's Closed on Martha's Vineyard.

Are ferries running normally?

Steamship Authority ferries run daily from 6 a.m. to 9:45 p.m. The boat line expanded its schedule beginning June 17 with the reopening of the Oak Bluffs Terminal. 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 (; Falmouth-Edgartown Ferry(; the high-speed Seastreak from New York, New Jersey, New Bedford and Boston (  Patriot Party Boats runs a year-round passenger and small freight shuttle between Falmouth and Oak Bluffs, and offers after-hours water taxi service ( The Rhode Island Fast Ferry from Quonset Point has been canceled for the season (

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 is open, but many carriers have reduced or delayed their schedules.

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

As of July 1, visitors from other New England states (Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont), New York and New Jersey, are not required to self-quarantine, but a 14-day quarantine on arrival is still advised for all other visitors. People exhibiting symptoms of Covid-19 are asked not to come.

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 are open with restrictions including at least 12 feet between groups. Parking and access is being limited at several town beaches, including Lambert’s Cove, Philbin and Lucy Vincent. Masks do not need to be worn in the water. Ball games on beaches are prohibited. You can find more information here.

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, but there are limits on the number of people on boats. Houses of worship are now open, and hair salons and pet groomers reopened on on Memorial Day. Island library buildings remain closed, but will offer contact-less pickup of books and other materials starting June 15.

Are restaurants open?

Many Island restaurants are now open for carry-out and some offer home delivery. Restaurants are permitted to offer outdoor dining, and effective June 22 indoor dining is also permitted with strict social distancing. 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 returned 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 open.

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. 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.

I understand there is free testing available for Covid-19 on the Island?

Yes, thanks to a partnership among Quest Diagnostics, Island Health Care and the Island boards of health, TestMV is offering free, self-administered drive-through screening at the Martha's Vineyard Regional High School by appointment to any resident or visitor to the Island. More information on the program is available here

Where can I stay if I come to the Vineyard?

Hotels, inns and short-term rental properties were allowed to reopen starting June 8 under Gov. Baker's guidelines, and many are offering incentives to travelers. 

I rented a house on the Island for later this summer, but now I’m worried about coming. Can I get a refund of my deposit?

That depends on the contract you signed and on your landlord's flexibility in enforcing its terms. Many rental contracts have non-refundable deposits. Some landlords nonetheless have been willing to credit renters for a future stay, or refund deposits in full, but each case is unique.