2020 Nantucket Summer Vacation FAQ

Published by Robin Slick, June 24, 2020

As Nantucket has begun the reopening process in accordance with Phase 2 guidelines, our agents and brokers have received many inquiries as to what these guidelines now permit and what is still not allowed. Here are answers to those FAQ to help prepare you for your summer holiday on Nantucket while staying safe doing so.

Are leisure travel and lodging allowed in Massachusetts?

On June 8, Massachusetts entered Phase 2 of its reopening plan. As part of Phase 2, the ban has been lifted on lodging, including short-term rentals. There are currently no restrictions in place on Nantucket or in Massachusetts.

Are visitors arriving on Nantucket required to self-quarantine?

There is no requirement for visitors to quarantine upon arrival, however visitors traveling to Massachusetts from out-of-state are “urged” to self-quarantine for 14 days.

Are there any changes with the ferry schedules for the summer? 

Throughout the Spring, the Steamship Authority and Hy-Line had modified their schedules according to government regulation and customer demand. Normal schedules have now resumed but guidelines are subject to change. For the latest information please visit their websites.

IMG_7827Peonies on Fair Street in Town.

Are the ferries safe to travel on?

In addition to regular cleaning protocols in between trips, employees are now disinfecting all surfaces in between and during trips as needed. Face masks are required when getting on and off the ferries and while inside on the ferries. 

Are airlines changing their summer schedules? 

Airlines across the region and across the country are changing their schedules frequently. The Nantucket Airport remains open and we suggest that if you plan to fly to Nantucket that you check with your airline to confirm your itinerary as well as any safety protocols that may be in place. There are also several private charter companies that offer service to the island.

Is there a limit on the number of people that can gather together?

No, in Phase 2 there is no limit on gathering size. 


Cisco Brewery set up for physical distancing.

Are masks required on Nantucket?

While not specifically required by the Town Board of Health, Nantucket is subject to the Order issued by Gov. Baker, effective May 6, requiring face masks or cloth face coverings in public places where physical distancing is not possible. This applies to both indoor and outdoor spaces. Exceptions include children under two years of age and those unable to wear a face covering due to a medical condition.

Where can I find news and information from the town of Nantucket? 

Visit the Town’s Covid-19 page.

What businesses are currently open on Nantucket?

Although some shops and restaurants will be closed for the season, most have opened in a variety of creative ways. Phase 2 allows for the reopening of personal services such as nail salons and day spas, and restaurants may have outdoor dining. Retailers will be open for in-store browsing with limits on the number of customers allowed in at one time. The Nantucket Chamber of Commerce maintains a list of open businesses on island.

Have all scheduled summer events and festivals been cancelled? 

Although many events have been canceled this summer in their original format, some have opted for a virtual experience. To find out more about this summer's events see C&C’s list of updated events and happenings.


New outdoor seating at the Charlie Noble in Town.

What are the restrictions when dining out? And where can I find a list of dining options? 

According to Phase 2, outdoor table service is now allowed. Also, most restaurants offer curbside pickup and some offer delivery service. Nantucket’s Department of Culture & Tourism updates a weekly list of open restaurants. For top spots to dine outside in 2020, read C&C's recent blog and to view a more comprehensive list of island restaurants go to our online restaurant guide.

Will Nantucket beaches be open this summer? And what other activities are there to do?

Island beaches will remain open and there are no plans to restrict beach access. Golf courses, boating, and fishing are permitted and all walking trails and bike paths are open. In early July Nantucket will be opening its first drive-in movie theater sponsored by the Dreamland theater. Visit the Land Bank and the Conservation Foundation for a list of their properties. 

What about grocery stores, farm stands and farmer’s markets?

Grocery stores and farm stands are open.  Please check individual websites for senior hours and curbside options. Sustainable Nantucket's farmers market has opened and it will run until mid October on Saturdays from 9 am to 1pm with 60 vendors and farmers. The market is located at Cambridge and North Union Streets. 


Beach roses at Quidnet Beach.

Are there any restrictions on public transportation?

The Wave, Nantucket’s Regional Transit Authority bus service runs seven days a week. Taxi services are operating. Masks are required on all bus, taxi and share rides such as Lyft and Uber.

If I am feeling unwell, can I get tested for COVID-19?

The Nantucket Cottage Hospital offers a drive-through evaluation site at the main entrance of the hospital located at 57 Prospect Street. The hospital recently broadened its criteria for testing to include adults who are asymptomatic. There is no need to call ahead. The evaluation site is open daily from 9 am to Noon, and 1 pm to 5 pm. 

If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact our TEAM so we can help make your vacation relaxed while also helping to ensure a safe stay on island.

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Robin Slick

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